Despite a recount for the Dripping Springs Independent School District’s (DSISD) $132 million bond, the Citizens for Excellent Education in Dripping Springs (CEEDS) is back and filing a lawsuit against the school district.
The organization is filing a formal election contest at the Hays County District Court, alleging that the results of the May 5 election and recount for the DSISD bond package were not correct, based on the disenfranchisement of dozens of voters due to mistakes in the administration of the election, according to a press release from the organization.
The organization claims that 51 qualified voters residing in Travis County were not notified of the election, and elected officials made no provision for them to vote.
However, CEEDS did not specify if these Travis County voters would have voted against the bond, which would, in turn, flip the result of the election.
“These violations made it impossible to ensure that every ballot was present and that every vote was properly counted,” the press release stated. “The recount also brought to light new and alarming facts regarding the misadministration of the May 5 election.”
Additionally, the organization says that dozens of Hays County voters were assigned to the wrong school district and received voter registration cards that were printed with an incorrect school district listed.
At the June 25 DISD board of trustees meeting, the board voted unanimously to retain counsel in order to file a lawsuit to validate the outcome of the bond election.
“While litigation presents a temporary interruption, we believe it will ultimately provide resolution and is a necessary step to the continued progress for which the district is known,” said the school district in a written statement to the News-Dispatch. “Throughout the process, we will continue to welcome input to help shape our work, which we can agree must remain focused on providing the highest quality educational and professional environment for our students, staff and the DSISD community.”
The plaintiffs will be represented by Jerad Najvar of Houston-based Najvar Law Firm, which specializes in election-related litigations. According to the press release, the case, formally named McConahay V. Kroll, is pending in the Hays County District Court.
The $132 million bond package, which aimed at infrastructure improvements and new campuses, was a result of a projection that showed the district to double in size over the next decade. Not all citizens were sold on its intent, citing a possible increase in property tax rates despite the district’s explanation.
The May 5 bond passed by a vote of 1,662 to 1,631, a difference of only 31 votes.