UPDATE: Will the Harrisburg School Bond election results give us some insight on the SF election

UPDATE: The Bond election passed with almost 85% approval (no surprises there) and like the SFSD election a low voter turnout, about 10%. I still wonder how these elections would have turned out if held with the Mid-Terms.

I think it will be very interesting to see the results of the Harrisburg School Bond tonight.

There are many differences. Harrisburg is taking out $40 million (not $190) and they are having NO tax increase attached to it (their levee is already higher than SF).

Another factor is that Harrisburg and other surrounding towns like Brandon and Tea tend to be a little more fiscally conservative when voting.

I still think it will pass, I’m even willing to say by 75%. But what if it is 85% or higher? Does that tell us that Sioux Falls 85% passage is believable? What if it is a lot lower? Or doesn’t pass (60%)?

The voter turnout will also be another factor.

While the results certainly can’t be compared 100% to the SF School Bond election, there will be some areas we can review and do some comparisons.

I also find it curious that the SFSD told voters they had to have the election in September because their budget HAD to be submitted to the state by September 30. So how is it that Harrisburg can have their election after that magical date in the middle of October and still be able to submit it to the state? Oh, that’s right, because the budget can be amended and submitted to the state later. Both Sioux Falls and Harrisburg school districts could have had their bond elections with the mid-term in November. It would have saved taxpayers money by holding it with the midterms. There would have been a larger voter turnout AND it would have been tabulated by a machine by an un-bias county auditor instead of having finance administrators count the votes by hand.

The results will be interesting.


#1 The Guy from Guernsey on 10.16.18 at 7:53 pm

Near the end of the voting hours, the pace of voting was brisk at the bond election outpost placed amidst the Taupe Housing Society of Conformity (aka Harrisburg North Middle School).
Dropped in @ 6:40 p.m. and thought I might be the lone voter casting a ballot. There was a line of 6-8 waiting in the ‘A-M’ line; passage was quicker through the ‘N-Z’ line, only 3-4 in wait.
It may give you heartburn to learn that the ballots were very simple; looked to of a type which will be manually counted.
The bond will pass easily.

#2 The Guy from Guernsey on 10.16.18 at 7:58 pm

BTW, the 2014 bond referendum for $25 million in the Harrisburg district (addition to high school; new elementary school; other improvements in the district) was approved with 84% of the voters voting ‘yes’.
I predict this bond referendum will approach that rate of affirmative votes.

#3 l3wis on 10.17.18 at 3:12 pm

Just to let all the cry babies know that post here. If you want to rip on me anonymously without having the balls to use your real name (or at least real email address), I will just delete the comment.


#4 Matthew Paulson on 10.17.18 at 10:55 pm

It appears that the people of Harrisburg understand the need for good schools as much as Sioux Falls voters do.

Scott – Are you going to double down and start attacking the Harrisburg School District too because they also had a landslide vote in favor of new educational facilities? What fault will you find with their process?

#5 Warren Phear on 10.18.18 at 7:01 am

Harrisburg at least did it the right way. They spend 40 million on a high school expansion and new elementary. SF spends 180 million on a new high school and middle school. Kids who live in places like norton acres and froelich will still have to bussed nearly as far as they were before.

Yes, I can see how and why the Harrisburg plan got 85% approval.

#6 l3wis on 10.18.18 at 7:22 am

I’m with WP on this one. Without a tax increase attached to the bond, it is NO surprise that it passed. I even thought for awhile it would get 90-95% of the vote. SFSD bond had a very large tax increase attached to it, even though there has been significant growth over the past 20 years. That is how Harrisburg was able to pay for this without the tax increase, through natural tax base growth.

Also, the low voter turnout tells me (10%) that mostly the people who wanted this showed up to vote.

#7 scott on 10.18.18 at 9:51 am

i’m not sure how they can say this was done without a tax increase, since they admit to raising the taxable value of property.

#8 Paul ElevenHaken on 10.18.18 at 3:38 pm