Midland Independent School District
midland bond

Upon further review: Voters rejected Midland (Texas) district's $569 million bond request

Jan. 22, 2020
Manual recount had shown the proposal had passed, but election officials subsequently found a box with missing ballots that flipped the results.

Election officials have determined that a $569 million Midland (Texas) school bond proposal on the November ballot lost by 26 votes after tallying ballots found in a missing box located weeks after Election Day.

The Texas Tribune reports that the bond referendum drew the attention of the Texas secretary of state's office and some lawmakers because of the numerous twists and turns.

On election night, Midland voters watching the polls initially believed the bond passed by 18 votes because of the results posted on Midland County's election website. But a week after the posting, officials said the election night tally didn't include mail-in votes. Once those numbers were taken into account, officials believed the bond failed by 25 votes.

A manual recount flipped the results again, showing the bond had passed by 11 votes.  The results were made official on Nov. 15.

County officials found the missing box in early December. Taking into account those 836 votes, plus one stray ticket found separately from the box that had also been misplaced, the results flipped again. The new version of final results was 11,800 votes in favor of the bond and 11,826 against. The result means that Midland will not receive the authority to build two new high schools.

"Though this is not the result that supporters of the 2019 school bond worked for, it was what we expected and were prepared for," We Choose Our Future, the group in favor of the bond, wrote in a statement on Facebook. "Today’s exercise was an opportunity to build trust in the process for future elections and bring closure to this election so that the work on another bond plan can begin."

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