City of Pullman bonds pass thanks to secondary voting rule

IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

The two City of Pullman bonds that appeared on the ballot earlier this month passed due to a secondary voting rule in Washington’s constitution.

The bonds will pay for a new city hall, senior center and improvements to city parks.

Both bonds failed to reach the mandatory voter turnout of 40 percent of the last general election, which meant that each bond needed 3,854 votes to be considered for approval. Proposition No. 1 missed the total vote mark by just under 60 votes, while Proposition No. 2 was short 70 votes to reach the threshold.

However, Article 7 Section 2A of the Washington State Constitution allows for a local election board to pass a tax-raising measure if the proposition receives enough “yes” votes to equal or surpass 60 percent of the 40 percent turnout rule, Pullman City Attorney Laura McAloon said.

Using this rule, the bonds needed 2,312.4 approval votes to allow the election board to declare them as passed. In total, 2,410 people voted “yes” on Proposition No. 1, while 2,783 people responded “yes” on Proposition No. 2, Whitman County Auditor Eunice Coker said. This allowed the Whitman County Canvas Board, which oversees calling the final results of elections, to declare both bonds as approved.

City Supervisor Adam Lincoln previously said the next step in the case of approval would be to meet with bond attorneys to begin selling the 10-year bonds. City of Pullman Recreation Supervisor Kurt Dahmen said this is the third time Pullman voters approved Proposition No. 2, or the “Parks and Paths Bond.”

The complete election results can be found on the Washington Elections website.