School board election coin flip planned next Tuesday

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fourth District Judge Mike Wetherell formally ruled Friday that the May 19 school board election had resulted in a tie, and ordered the Mountain Home School District to conduct a coin flip to determine the winner as soon as possible.

School board chairman Jim Alexander has called a special meeting for 7:30 p.m. next Tuesday, Sept. 29, to conduct the coin flip between C.D. Houston and William Murray.

But Houston said he will appeal the judge's ruling.

See the Mountain Home News for the complete story.

View 16 comments
Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. Please note that those who post comments on this website may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.
  • *

    Could somone please explain to me how the school board can be allowed to do this! I have seen how this board does business before . Lets get this right. If you win, You Win. if your opponent concedes, You Win! but this doesn't work for the school board, but they will 'seat' you UNTIL they get a decision from a Judge? and even then the FINAL decision will be made by a Coin Toss ! Come on folks I cannot understand why more people are not speakiing out about this, Mr Alexander has been quoted as saying 'they want to see the right person on the board' well Mr.Alexander the RIGHT person won and is seated at the table you need to answer why it is so important that this issue was not ended weeks ago. I hope that Mr Huston will appeal if the Judge's ruling is not in his favor, we are all behind you. as to the coin toss issue leave that on the sportsfield where it belongs NOT on a school board.

    -- Posted by Stinger on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 9:43 AM
  • *

    Come on Alexander!!! A coin toss? This is not a sport, this is a business matter!! How about we flip the coin to get you off of the board! You have done NOTHING to help the school district. It is all about you and your reputation. Well howabout you step down and let some fresh blood in there that does care about the program. Not someone that just states that they do. Have not seen very many postitive things. And for the anex buildings to go to the high school yeah smooth move! Lets just pay to have them moved and the bandaid did not do anything for the issue. In fact the bandaid is soaked, what now ?

    -- Posted by Bostonfan on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 10:26 AM
  • Please! Houston would not have won if the 3 people that were not supposed to vote voted. He received 3 ILLEGAL votes that resulted in a win. I am not saying a coin toss is fair but the RIGHT PERSON is not currently sitting in the seat. Just the person who received more ILLEGAL votes. There should be a re-vote. That is all I am saying.

    -- Posted by Liv2fish on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 10:42 AM
  • Why is there not a run off between the two? A coin toss? That is not the wishes and desires of the people, surely! CD won this fair and square. Now you say it is a tie and a coin toss will decide!! Have you not noticed the decrease in enrollment? CD will do what is right for the county and will listen to the people. You keep manipulating anything you can change the outcome...just like historical facts... down to a tie. CD deserves to be on the school board.

    -- Posted by doglover77 on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 12:42 PM
  • *

    After a review of the ballots cast three were identified as illegal, taking away the narrow victory from CD Houston resulting in a tie. However, in cases like this I don't agree with coin flipping to decide the outcome. In a tie for an elected position, there should be a runoff to decide. Using the coin flip is typically reserved for deciding arbitrary conditions in sporting events, like which team defends which goal to start a football game, or which team will have the ball first. These are arbitrary conditions because both teams will have the opportunity to start a half with the ball, defending a given goal. Placement on a school board is not an arbitrary condition. We wouldn't consider starting the term with one candidate, and then switching to the other for the second half of the term. It's simply a cheap and easy way to make a decision for someone incapable of making a decision. If I were either candidate I would be upset with the way this is being handled, and would not be satisfied without a vote to decide, be it the members of the school board to break the tie, or the people in the district. At least there would be a vote to decide, not random chance.

    -- Posted by VicVega on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 1:31 PM
  • *

    It isn't the Judge, and isn't the board chair who decided it should be a coin toss. It's Idaho State Law. The election was a tie, since the three votes were not legally cast and were removed, as also called for under the law. Read it for yourself, very very clearly spelled out:

    Oh, and if you don't like this outcome, maybe you should go vote next time there is an election. 90 total votes is inexcusable. You didn't care enough on election day to vote, so why are you suddenly worried about the outcome now?

    -- Posted by FNG0312 on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 3:50 PM
  • *

    I would have voted but it wasn't my district.

    -- Posted by VicVega on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 3:56 PM
  • *

    Fang was right! I still don't like the idea of the coin flip. I wonder how many other laws are written up like this. But like it or not, it's the law until it's changed.

    TITLE 33




    33-503. ELECTION OF TRUSTEES -- UNIFORM DATE. The election of school

    district trustees including those in charter districts shall be on the third

    Tuesday in May. Notice and conduct of the election, and the canvassing of the

    returns shall be as provided in sections 33-401--33-406, Idaho Code. In each

    trustee zone, the person receiving the greatest number of votes cast within

    his zone shall be declared by the board of trustees as the trustee elected

    from that zone.

    If any two (2) or more persons have an equal number of votes in any

    trustee zone and a greater number than any other nominee in that zone, the

    board of trustees shall determine the winner by a toss of a coin.

    -- Posted by VicVega on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 4:05 PM
  • *

    fng0312 fyi I did vote. I always vote. not like the othr 11.000+ that didn't.

    -- Posted by Stinger on Wed, Sep 23, 2009, at 4:30 PM
  • It is truly great to read lots of chat about the coin flip. And yes, it's the law and no, I don't live in that district. and yes, I vote and no, I won't tell you who I vote for and I don't think you should have to tell me who you vote for. In fact, the story on May 20th said the first report from the School Board says the board can't violate the sanctity of the voting booth. But I guess somehow the sanctity is not so clear anymore. That sound s odd. But there are so many other questions that have not been addressed. Where are the reporters who dig out the story? We found 3 wrong votes. Did we check all the rest? What makes the lines in the district change? Did they change during the 1990 census or afterword? Does the state certify the changes? When I go to vote my name is checked by polling officials. What happened? Did it happen just 3 times... or more. Both attorneys for the defendant are out of town for the trial? And we can't postpone it until they return. That sounds odd. Will we have to review every thing the trustees have done in the last 4 months ? If the coin decides CD Houston is not the trustee is that retroactive? Now after 4 months of questions we must have the coin flip quickly. Should we wait until Houston is able to speak with his lawyer and decide what direction to go next? That sounds odd. So keep digging Mountain Home News. Sounds like you have a real story on your hands with lots of unanswered questions. I sure don't know the answers but I do know when something just aint right.

    -- Posted by R&M on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 12:34 AM
  • I think there should be another vote instead of a coin toss. Law or no law... The 3 people who voted that were not supposed to should have know better in the first place, is there not someting in the law about that too? Why make these guys suffer? I didn't vote.. I didn't know anything about it. Now that I do if there were a chance I would now. And I would vote for C.D..

    -- Posted by hey you on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 12:14 PM
  • First off, the 3 people who voted but should not have were told, by election officials, that they were in the correct zone. That is why these people voted----NOT to create a situation of voter fraud. These people have filed Affidavits regarding this and did nothing wrong other than to listen to election officials (since it would seem they did not know who was in district and who was out). We are working on the WECRD Petition to dissolve and I can tell you that reading who is in district and who is not is hard to determine based on the fuzzy map.

    To state that the 3 people who voted and should not have did anything wrong is really ignorant. You go off of the information the "experts" give you. This is yet another fine example of not holding the people who told these 3 people to vote accountable. Or better yet, invest in clear maps so people can figure it out for themselves. If the "experts" cannot figure out the can a PRIVATE citizen?

    Get real people. I know 1 of the people involved and she is smart, honest, works hard, and cares. She feels really bad about this situation. Imagine being asked, under oath, how you voted! How dare anyone cast blame on these 3 people? The even larger question is why did they "seat" Mr. Houston before the issue was resolved? Imagine how he must feel? How very MH this entire situation is. How very MH indeed. Funny, not too much out there on how STUPID it was for the school board to do what they did! Just my 2 cents from the other side of the fence.

    -- Posted by OpinionMissy on Thu, Sep 24, 2009, at 12:55 PM
  • Well, well Arrow! Back for another round. I did not say that the MHSD had anything to do with asking people how they voted. I also never said anything with regard to the coin toss. I know that it is "Code." However, a reasonable person (which you clearly are not) would more likely than not agree that the 3 vote matter should have been cleared up before anyone was seated. That was my point---NOT that a coind toss is unfair or illegal. Not even close to what I stated, but nice try.

    As far as those 3 people and their votes, I am sure the only reason they voted was because they were told, by an election official, to vote. When you have a line on a map that is 1/2 inch wide and you live directly on the "border" it is a bit hard to tell if you are in district or not.

    I live in the county you moron, which means I cannot run for CC but you knew that. You and your sheep should try to be factual and do better research. But then truth has never really been what you were all about. Ironic how you state such. Enjoy your night. Now back under that rock you go Arrow. The bugs miss you!

    -- Posted by OpinionMissy on Sun, Sep 27, 2009, at 7:52 PM
  • I'm sure that the three people that improperly voted knew that only 88 of the couple thousand eligible people in that district were going to vote. Conspiracy theorists of the world unite. Both men are qualified to serve, but things just had to be made white. If both gentlemen were white the election would've never been challenged. And it certainly wouldn't have been challenged by the whole board. Only one of which had the right to challenge.

    -- Posted by AtomicDog on Tue, Sep 29, 2009, at 8:48 PM
  • *

    AD, I'm not saying you're wrong. But do you think it was really racially motivated? If it was their motivation to challenge, I'd think the entire board could and should be removed.

    -- Posted by VicVega on Wed, Sep 30, 2009, at 7:35 AM
  • Vic,

    Can I make a legal case for it being racially motivated? I doubt it. Although I wonder in what open forum they all decided to challenge their own results with only one of them having the right to do so? Murray nor any other non school board citizen contested the results, only the powers that be. It's curious to me why they were so flustered that they all challenged their own results. Why the piling on? If it quacks like a cracker and files lawsuits like a cracker, then it's probably a cracker.

    -- Posted by AtomicDog on Wed, Sep 30, 2009, at 9:23 AM
Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: