Fallbrook and Bonsall residents have tentatively approved Prop BB, a proposition that would allow the Bonsall Union School District (BUSD) to become unified and open its own high school.
The total amount of votes tallied as of end-of-day Nov. 15 were 18,029, with 52.56 percent (9,476) counted as yes, and 47.44 percent (8,553) counted as no.
According to the San Diego Registrar of Voters office, the 2012 election must be certified by Dec. 4. Election workers are currently hand counting mailed in ballots.
“We have thousands of ballots left, and we are counting about 40 to 50 thousand ballots a day,” said an official from the registrar’s office. “We should be done by either the middle or end of the week of Nov. 19, but it will not be official until it is certified.”
As the ballots are being counted, the Fallbrook Union High School District (FUHSD) and BUSD are waiting expectantly for the official tally to be announced.
“At this point the indications are that Bonsall unification has been approved by the voters,” said Dale Mitchell, FUHSD superintendent. “I have asked the Registrar of Voters for voting details because of the discrepancy regarding one ballot for Bonsall attendance area voters and two ballots for Fallbrook and Vallecitos attendance area voters. If the discrepancy is significant, we may want to contest the election results. Meanwhile, we are in a holding pattern until the above information is known.”
Justin Cunningham, BUSD superintendent, stated that his district was aware of problems occurring at the registrar’s office, and was still optimistic.
“We had been told by the Registrar of Voters there won’t be an official tally for Prop BB until Dec. 4,” he said. “Until then, we are gathering all the information needed to move forward. Part of that gathering of information and next step will be to attend the Special Board Meeting at Fallbrook High.”
Jennifer Leung, the chair for the Yes on Prop BB group, stated that supporters for the proposition are trying to temper their emotional response to the outcome.
“We don’t want to get excited yet; we want it to be official,” said Leung. “It seems like it’s going to pass. We look every evening to see if they have updated their numbers, but there are still votes to count. It makes sense that since this is a very local thing on the ballot that we have to count all the absentee and provisional votes, but I thought we would know on that Tuesday. It’s draining on patience.”
Leung stated that the process has been a learning experience. Though the elections have finished, there is still plenty to do.
“Officially, our duties include communicating with everybody about the results, and once the registrar has certified the vote, we will take down websites and get the last paperwork. I would imagine we will celebrate, but we are not talking about that quite yet.”
“If/when Bonsall unification is official, we wish the best to the Bonsall school district as it strives to meet the educational needs of all of the students residing in its attendance area,” said Mitchell.
Leung believes that the Fallbrook and Bonsall community is strong, and will thrive, regardless of the election outome.
“I know the tendency is to separate Fallbrook and Bonsall, but that’s not how I see this. The point of this proposition was to have another option, supporting each other,” she said. “I did not intend for this to be a devisive thing. It may have been naïve of me to have thought that, but the motivator was to have another option. We should be celebrating both of our schools, and all of our school disctricts. I would like to see everybody succeed, and would like to see us move forward.”