Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.
Michigan Information & Research Service Inc.

County Forgets To Put School's Millage Request On The Ballot

08/04/22 04:03 PM By Emily Michienzi

(Source: MIRS.news, Published 08/03/2022) Only 44 of the more than the 760 local tax and bonding issues failed during the Aug. 2 primary election and problems were minor, but one election issue may cause headaches for a Thumb-area school district.


Ubly Community Schools, which is in both Huron and Sanilac counties, had put up a proposal to increase millages by 1.5 mills for three years.  The issue passed in Huron County, but no results were returned by Sanilac County.


“Unfortunately, it was brought to our attention late last week that we did not have that proposal on our ballots,” said Sanilac County Clerk Leslie Hilgendorf.


She said it was the responsibility of Huron County Clerk Lori Neal to get the ballot language to the county, but it never made it.


“I get that people make mistakes,” Ubly Superintendent Joe Candela said. “Unfortunately, it was a pretty big mistake for us.”


Candela said the district has sat down with lawyers to find out where to go from this point and said there are a couple of possibilities.  He said there may be a chance for a special mail-in election.


In that election, voters would have five days to send back a one-issue ballot that would then be added to the Aug. 2 results to determine if it passed.


“If it turns out that people didn’t get a chance to vote and now, they’re allowed to vote, great,” Candela said.  “We’re in a democracy and people should be able to vote.”


Hilgendorf said it would be in the hands of the Ubly school voters to make that call.


Candela said the district is concerned that it would go to the ballot in November and the school district would have to pay the cost. Something other county clerks have said is free for jurisdictions.


He said the district was hoping to get everything straightened out so it could make the winter taxes that are sent in December.


“If it has to be moved to November there wouldn’t be enough time,” he said. “So, we’d actually lose a year that we couldn’t collect.”


Other election issues

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Tuesday night that the primary election went “smoothly” with only minor issues.


“Voters cast ballots in person in polling places where operations were largely smooth,” Benson said after the polls closed Aug. 2. Results were delayed in Wayne County because of a technology issue. Macomb County results also were delayed due to a procedural change in which results were driven to the county clerk's office from the various precincts.


Hillsdale County Clerk Marney Kast said “a minor glitch” with a flash drive in Reading Township prevented the return of some voting numbers, but she was in the area to take care of the issue.


“We run a tight ship here,” Kast said.


Kast said she was hustling to get the report finished to turn in for canvass tomorrow.


“I’m thankful to the more than 1,600 township, city and county clerks of Michigan, as well as their staff members and thousands of election workers who signed up to serve and once again made Michigan’s elections among the most safe and secure in the nation,” Benson said.