Elections

Canyon County election results now official; Caldwell school board candidate unsure if she’ll challenge outcome

Toni Waters, a candidate for school board in Zone 2 of the Caldwell School District, was waiting for Canyon County commissioners to officially canvass the May 19 election before she decides whether to challenge the result.

Commissioners did that Tuesday and confirmed the outcome: Zone 2 incumbent Thomas Britten got 108 votes, winning by just four over Waters’ 104.

But due to an error at the polls, five ballots were given to people who actually live in Zone 1 and weren’t eligible to vote in Zone 2.

The problem, said county spokesman Joe Decker, happened at Precinct 17, which includes voters who live in both zones. “Five people from Zone saw the ‘vote here’ sign” and poll workers gave them ballots by mistake, Decker said.

Waters, a physical education teacher at Middleton Heights Elementary, said Tuesday she was not sure if she will challenge the results. She plans to meet with election officials on Wednesday morning before making a decision.

“My decision will be made tomorrow because I want it done and over with,” Waters said.

She has 20 days from Tuesday to challenge the results and ask for a new election. The decision is driven by candidates and not the county, Decker said.

If Waters files a challenge, a district judge will decide if another election will be held and who will pay for it. Because the error was made by election officials, it’s not likely the candidate would have to pay for it, Decker said. He said it’s possible the election could piggyback on another scheduled election — there are four possible dates a year under Idaho’s consolidated election law — or a special election would have to be held.

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