The 8.5-cent property tax increase, which was proposed by MCCSC, and now approved by voters, is supposed to pay for early childhood education programs.
The margin for the referendum approval was thin—just 108 votes out of over 10,000 ballots cast.
Here’s the raw total breakdown: 5,229 yes to 5,121 no. That’s 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent.
The narrow passage reflected a number of concerns, including the fact that voters had just last year approved an MCCSC referendum.
Other voters expressed a lack of confidence in the current MCCSC administration, at least in part fueled by a recent controversy about unifying the daily schedules of all four Bloomington high schools.
The MCCSC referendum showed uneven support inside Bloomington compared to outside the city. That’s based on the precinct-by-precinct tallies released by the county clerk’s office.
Outside the city of Bloomington, two-thirds of voters cast a ballot against the referendum. By the numbers, outside Bloomington, there were 2,567 no votes (66.5%) compared to 1,292 yes votes (33.5%).
Inside the city of Bloomington, the numbers were essentially flipped. Inside Bloomington, there were 2,554 no votes (39%), compared to 3,937 yes votes (60%).
Even inside the city limits, support for the referendum was uneven.
Broken down by city council district, here’s how those percentages in favor of the referendum looked: District 1 (62.60%); District 2 (61.66%); District 3 (68.62%); District 4 (64.96%); District 5 (51.92%); District 6 (78.22%). So the referendum had majority support in every city council district.
But in District 5, which is the southeastern fringe of Bloomington, support for the referendum had just a slim majority. The centrally located District 6, on and near the Indiana University campus, showed the highest percentage support, with nearly a 4:1 margin. But in District 6, just 101 total ballots were cast.
The referendum showed uneven support along another dimension of the population—early voters compared to Election Day voters.
When the initial numbers were released, for early and absentee voters, it looked like the referendum would pass with something like 54 percent support. But Election Day voters in Monroe County tend to trend a bit more conservative than their early voting counterparts.
So as the later results came in, the 8-point edge slipped. Among Election Day voters, the referendum did not have majority support. The final unofficial tally was just 1 point, or 108 votes.