Caldwell school board candidate files challenge to election results

Toni Waters, a candidate for school board in Zone 2 of the Caldwell School District, said Wednesday that she filed paperwork to challenge the results of the May 19 election.

Now it’s up to 3rd District Judge Christopher Nye to decide if there will be another election — and who will pay for it.

Canyon County commissioners canvassed the election 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 1 saw the ‘vote here’ sign” and poll workers gave them ballots by mistake, Decker said.

Waters, a physical education teacher at Middleton Heights Elementary, had 20 days from Tuesday to challenge the results and ask for a new election.

Because the error was made by election officials, it’s not likely Waters 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.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, an initial hearing date had yet to be set for the case.