Bond & Levy Election Validations
Passing a levy or bond issue isn't always a simple matter of majority rules. State law makes bond issues and some types of levies tougher to pass by requiring a "super majority. Other levies such as levy lid lifts and levies for schools only require a simple majority.
State Constitution (Article 7 Section 2) mandates the validation requirements for excess levies and bond issues.
Levy Validation (excluding school levies)
To validate, levies must pass with a 60% favorable majority. They must also win a minimum number of YES votes based on the number of people who voted in the previous November General Election within the school or fire, etc., district. That minimum number of YES votes is determined by taking 60% of 40% of the people who voted in the most recent General Election.
Example: If there were 10,000 votes cast in the last General Election:
To pass the levy, the district needs to have at least 2,400 YES votes, even if only a total of 2,500 people vote on the levy.
Levy Validation for Schools
To validate a school levy, a simple majority is required.
Bond issues must validate two ways. They must pass with a 60% favorable majority, or 60% of ballots cast are "Yes" votes. In addition, they have a voter turnout requirement that levies don't have. The turnout must equal 40% of the voters who cast ballots in the last General Election. So, a bond measure could get the required number of YES votes, but could still fail if not enough people vote in the election.
Example: 10,000 people voted in the XYZ School District in last year's November General Election.
To pass this bond issue, the XYZ District must also ensure that at least 4,000 people vote in the bond election. Of those, at least 2,400 must vote YES.
To better understand validation requirements, it may be helpful to read the State Constitution (Article 7, Section2).