MIDDLETON — The unrest in the Middleton School District over the past few months did not encourage voter turnout in Tuesday’s recall elections.
The recall elections for three trustees drew in a total of 986 voters, according to Canyon County’s unofficial count Tuesday night. That’s only 11% of the 8,787 registered voters in those nine precincts involved, according to the county election’s site.
With the election over, trustees are ready to move forward.
“Everyone is ready to work together as a team and do what is best for our district,” said trustee Aleisha McConkie on Wednesday.
McConkie, Tim Winkle and Marianne Blackwell were on the recall ballot.
Roughly 51% of voters supported Winkle and Blackwell staying in office.
The results for McConkie were a bit tricky. In her case, 55% of voters supported a recall. However, the number of votes in favor of a recall was five short of the threshold needed. State code says the number of votes in favor of a recall must exceed the number of votes a trustee earned in the most recent election. McConkie earned 120 votes in the May 2017 election; on Tuesday, only 115 voters supported a recall.
Winkle said he’s “looking forward to repairing the district and moving forward with new superintendent.”
“I see a bright future for the district,” he told the Idaho Press Wednesday.
Blackwell did not respond to requests for comment.
Earlier this month, McConkie and Winkle told the Idaho Press they believed the recall petitions were pushed by a small group of people. On Wednesday, they both said the low voter turnout was not surprising for an August election with only school board members on the ballot.
Winkle said it was disappointing, though, to see so few people come out to vote.
Winkle and trustee Derek Moore are up for reelection in November.
The district since last November has faced a series of difficulties, including national criticism of teachers’ racially insensitive costumes on Halloween; community outrage when the board voted not to renew the high school principal’s contract; and the departure of the superintendent. The board in July named new superintendent, Sherawn Reberry.