(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A judge has ruled in favor of the St. Joseph School District in reponse to a request to fix an error on an upcoming ballot.
Judge Weldon Judah approved the change under a state statute during a hearing
The ballot - with the error - had already been given to 850 absentee voters in Buchanan County.
The wording asked voters to allow the district to use $31.9 million in obligation bonds to improve facilities and construct a new elementary school. The question should have asked for the approval of $42 million instead.
School board candidate, Kenneth Reeder, attended the hearing this morning
where he requested to intervene on the decision. He wanted the measure to be
removed from the ballot.
Judge Judah denied Reeder's request, saying it came in an "untimely" manner.
The School District says the paperwork was received by the Buchanan County Courthouse on January 19.
One sheet, signed by the board of education, had the correct wording. The other, which was used in the planning process, had the incorrect information, but still had the words "official ballot" on it.
St. Joseph School District Superintendent Dr. Melody Smith told KQ2 it was an honest mistake.
"As embarrassing as it is, and as sorry as I am that it happened, we have been very transparent about it. But, sometimes when one is transparent, we get the warts with the process. We have an organization that schools our children. When we have made a mistake, we have always stepped forward and said, 'we made a mistake,'" she said during an interview on Saturday.
Buchanan County Clerk Mary Baack-Garvey estimates the cost to reprint,
program and ship the ballots will be roughly $20,000. She said that cost will be
passed on to the district.
Baack-Garvey told the court this morning that she feels her office can get the new ballots out the door by today.
The ballot measure is scheduled to go before voters April 3.