of polling in Sonoma County yesterday were released this morning on the Registrar of Voters website, but the polling booths don't tell the whole story. At this point Measure D - the bond measure - has reached its 2/3 threshold for passage, with 66.9% voting "Yes" in favor of the measure, and 66.6 required for passage.
But that tiny difference is not enough to guarantee passage of the measure.
"We were still pulling ballots out of the mail bags this morning," said a spokesperson at the Sonoma County Registrar's office. "And we still have a couple boxes to go."
"We get so many vote-by-mail ballots these days, it's impossible to call an election that's this close," said County Clerk-Recorder-Assessor Janice Atkinson.
By law, the county registrar has 28 days to certify the final results of an election. For now, they don't have an accurate figure on how many absentee or provisional ballots were submitted - though that number could come as early as Friday. How they line up, , is another matter.
"We're cautiously optimistic," said CRPUSD superintendent .
"According to the feasibility study we believed that we had 2/3 support, certainly at the $89 amount, but in an election like this it really comes down to turnout," said Dr. Haley. "It was very low. So hopefully what will be shown when the absentee ballots are counted is that those were voters who were turning in ballots to support Measure D. "
The official figures for the measure from the County Registrar of Voters shows final polling results as Yes 5,545 (66.9%); No - 2,748 (33.1%). Since the exact number of absentee ballots from the Cotati-Rohnert Park area are themselves not known, it's difficult to know the chances one way or another of the measure's outcome.
One percentage point of the total 8,293 votes is only 83 votes; two-tenths of that, the amount that the measure is currently passing by, is about 17 votes. At this point, that's the margin of victory for Measure D.
"Getting any group, even an electorate, to agree at rate of two-thirds is always a difficult task," said Dr. Haley. "If you look at around Sonoma county, there were a number of school districts, and other agencies that had measures on the ballot [as] bond elections, and those are 55% [for passage] now under the Prop 39 rules."
School bond measures passed in Healdsburg, Guerneville, Sebastopol and the Wright School District (Santa Rosa), all with support well in excess of 55%.
"If we were operating under those rules, we would have won in a landslide. But with parcel taxes, the bar is set very high and getting 66 2/3 is a difficult task."
It's going to be a couple of nail-biting weeks for both supporters and opponents of Measure D, as it's estimated that final results may not be known for three weeks.
"I advise anyone [concerned about the results] to take a vacation for three weeks," joked Atkinson. "I hear Mexico is nice this time of year."
Dr. Haley was not amused by the comment. "We hope her office counts them carefully and accurately, and when they have it done they have it done," he said.