Mail-in ballots fuel approval for District 102's $49 million bond issue

Though it seemed like it would fail initially, strong support among voters casting ballots by mail appears to have swung the result in favor of Buffalo Grove-based Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary District 102's $49 million bond issue.

Unofficial results reported by the Lake County Clerk's Office just after Election Day showed 657 votes were cast against the request and 648 votes were in favor. Since then, 221 late-arriving vote-by-mail and provisional ballots were received, which puts the tally now at 734 votes against and 792 in favor.

Superintendent Lori Wilcox said she received a flurry of excited messages when the late-arriving ballots were uploaded to the county clerk's website at around 5 p.m. Friday.

"On Thursday we learned that there were more than 5,000 mail-in ballots yet to be counted in Lake County so we were confident that some of those were ours and hopeful that our trend with 'yes' mail-in votes would continue," Wilcox said.

The county data shows a clear difference between the preferences of voters appearing in-person and those who voted by mail. According to the unofficial results, around 55% of the 874 vote cast in-person either during early voting or on Election Day were against the request but around 61% of the 652 votes by mail or provisional ballots cast were in favor.

Wilcox said she doesn't know why voters who cast their ballots via mail preferred the bond issue.

Lake County clerk's officials intend to have all votes certified by April 18.

Wilcox said if the results remain as they are after certification, district leaders will start designing the expansion at Aptakisic Junior High School to add science labs and a gymnasium to address space needs.

Wilcox said the district also will develop a comprehensive plan for increased internal and external security, as well as determine a timeline for replacing aging infrastructure.

"We are eager for votes to be certified on April 18 and look forward to building our bright future together," Wilcox said.

If approved, the measure would cost the owner of a $375,000 home - the median home price in District 102 - about an additional $468 a year, according to the district.

District 102 educates about 2,500 students at an early learning center, three elementary schools and a junior high school.

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