The Nov. 7 election was a whirlwind of emotions for both sides of the Granbury ISD Proposition B bond.
What was once a 74-vote lead in favor of the proposition eventually became a six-vote lead against Prop. B, as the counties of Parker, Johnson and Somervell turned in their election results.
As final tallies slowly trickled in over the next several days, Hood County residents held their breath as they eagerly awaited the news.
On Thursday, Nov. 16, the Granbury ISD Board of Trustees held a canvass meeting, where they revealed the bond had failed by a mere total of two votes, with 6,225 voting “for” and 6,227 voting “against.”
“The Board of Trustees officially finds and determines and declares the results of said election of Proposition B so submitted has not received a favorable majority vote and has not carried,” GISD Superintendent Jeremy Glenn said during the meeting.
The results from Prop B in each county are listed below:
Glenn also revealed there were 61 voters in Johnson County, 141 in Parker County, 15 in Somervell County, and 12,231 in Hood County, with a total vote count of 12,452.
With a two-vote difference deciding Prop B — a 50.01% majority voting against the measure — one resident felt the results were too close for comfort.
Mark Jackson, treasurer for the Granbury ISD For Kids SPAC (Special Political Action Committee) filed a petition with Hood County Elections Administrator Stephanie Cooper on Nov. 17, and requested a recount of GISD’s Prop B.
“As treasurer of the ‘For Granbury ISD Kids’ SPAC, I feel it was too close and too important not to be sure the vote tally is sound and correct in its conclusion,” Jackson said, in an email to the HCN. “This in no way impugns Stephanie or her staff and the countless poll volunteers and their hard work this election cycle.”
Jackson spoke to the HCN on Nov. 21 and revealed the recount was limited to Hood County only and had been scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 27 at the Hood County Library.
“It's new for all of us,” he said. “I would say so far, it's been a little daunting just trying to figure out what the proper steps are to take, and what safeguards we need in place so that should the outcome change, there won't be an outcry of any impropriety. We all want to get it right.”
Jackson explained to the HCN that two teams — for and against — will be present during the recount and will consist of watchers, counters, callers, and talliers.
“I do not have the list of individuals for the teams from the board yet. However, we are looking at doing two teams of counters that will have one caller and two talliers each. Each political committee can appoint two watchers,” Cooper said in an email to the HCN.
“She has laid out the procedure and she's devised a color-coding system,” Jackson said. “She's devised a method of how the ballots will be first sorted, and that one will be time consuming, sorting the ballots by precinct, and then once everything has been sorted, then the actual hand count will take place.”
He explained that with more than 12,000 votes to count, the recount could take several days to finalize.
“(Cooper) told me that the last time they had paper ballots, there were over 7,000 ballots and it took them a day-and-a-half, so it's going to be very tedious, very meticulous,” Jackson said. “But I'm confident in my mind that it will be done right, proper, and that all parties concerned will have a set of eyes there.”
Jackson said Cooper is hoping the recount will be completed by the end of the week on Dec. 1, adding that the main purpose of the recount is for accuracy.
“No one wants to see our community divided, and I think maybe we could have done a little bit better job in our message of the needs that this bond would have taken care of and the fact that it would not have affected the tax rate whatsoever,” he said. “Maybe we just didn't get that message out as effectively as we could have.”
Jackson added that he was one of the voters who went to bed on Tuesday, Nov. 7, thinking that his side had won, only to realize the morning of Nov. 8 that more votes were coming in from the other counties.
"Those people have a lawful, dutiful right to vote if they choose and many of them did,” he said. “It was Parker County that kind of threw it back, but once the news hit, it was very emotional, and it was hard to believe. I was just stunned for virtually the entire time. I could not believe it swung the other way, but every vote counts and this election certainly proved that.”
The HCN will publish an updated article online following the results of the election recount.