The Trout Lake School District's maintenance and operation levy appears on its way to passage.
Unofficial results from the Feb. 4 special election show that the levy was winning the support of more than 64 percent of the votes cast.
Raw vote totals showed 185 "Yes" votes (64.24 percent) and 103 "No" votes (35.76 percent).
The Klickitat County Auditor's Office reports that there are a total of 570 registered voters in the Trout Lake precinct, which works out to be approximately 51 percent of the voters.
To gain passage, a supermajority of 60 percent is needed. Further, to meet the validation requirement, at least 134 votes needed to be cast in the election. As of 9 p.m. on Feb. 4, both thresholds were being met.
However, 49 absentee ballots were still out, and any ballots postmarked by Feb. 4 will still be counted. The election results will not be officially certified until Feb. 14.
"With 288 votes, it takes 173 votes to get 60 percent," noted Dawn Weaver, elections administrator for the Auditor;s Office. "It's that close. The lead [for the Yes votes] looks healthy, but it depends on how many absentee votes we get back. It's still unofficial."
Dave Stokes, superintendent of the Trout Lake School District, said he was encouraged by the unofficial results.
"It looks positive," Stokes said. "It's another indication that this is a community that supports its schools. The most important thing is that it helps kids. that's the key. I know of districts that have failed levies, and it's devastating to kids and programs. The bottom line is, it looks like we've done what's best for the kids."
Stokes added that since 1943, when levy elections first started in Washington, there has never been a double levy failure in Trout Lake.
To get that percentage of people to agree on anything is a darn good feat, especially in a small town," Stokes added. "We're pleased."