Voter turnout was approximately 2.1 percent

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FARMINGTON — Preliminary results show that Farmington voters approved a switch in technology funding from a two-year bond to a six-year levy that would not change property taxes in a special school election today.

Voters also approved a decision to continue a levy that funds operation and renovations in school buildings throughout the district.

Voters approved the technology levy 513-184 and the buildings levy 495-177, according to unofficial results from the San Juan County Clerk’s Office. The vote count will be finalized Wednesday afternoon.

Farmington Municipal School District Superintendent Eugene Schmidt said both levies received approximately 70 percent approval from voters and that today’s election was a “great day for schools.”

“(It is) a great statement by the community that educating our students for tomorrow’s careers through the integration of technology will serve as an investment in the future of Farmington students,” Schmidt said in a text to The Daily Times.

Voter turnout was about 2.1 percent, with 704 registered voters casting a ballot in today’s special election, which was open to Farmington residents. There are 32,522 voters registered in Farmington, according to unofficial results.

The Farmington Municipal School District’s central office and the Farmington Museum at Gateway Park had 241 and 248 votes cast, respectively. Sycamore Park Community Center had 43 votes cast, and 172 voters cast absentee ballots before the election, according to the unofficial results. Polls were open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today.

Kimberly Hicks, who was the presiding judge at the district office polling location, said lower turnout can be typical for school elections.

"Yes, (today’s election saw a typical turnout), because this is a school levy election, so we don't get the turnout that we would like, but it's doing pretty good," Hicks said during the lunch hour, when the central office had seen approximately 65 voters.

Poll workers at the museum said that they had a rush of voters in the late afternoon — likely teachers whose workday was finished.

Christine Anderson, who teaches computer electives at Heights Middle School and who voted at the museum in the early afternoon, said she thought it was important to support school technology and building maintenance and renovations.

“(Technology in the schools) helps (students) to be more competitive in the world, and it helps to support our area — if we have students that are educated to use technology, then they can use it for our community,” Anderson said, adding that building maintenance plays a big role in a school environment. “Well, yeah, for safety, and just to keep the schools running, you have to have proper buildings and equipment. It helps (students’) learning if they’re safe and supported.”

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or mpetersen@daily-times.com.

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