Today's school elections may be a little confusing for some voters.
Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for voters considering board candidates, school levies, and in Billings School District 2 a proposal to have board members elected from geographic areas rather than at-large.
Confusion on levies One source of confusion may be the amount of some levies printed on the ballots. Because state school funding levels were not determined until after the ballots were printed, the amount being requested is actually less in some districts than the amount stated on the ballot.
Yellowstone County Elections Administrator Duane Winslow said 469 people have voted absentee in the School District 2 election, up 33 from last year.
He predicts voter turnout today at 20 and 25 percent "which isn't bad for a school district election."
District 2 voters in Lockwood can choose between trustee incumbent Conrad Stroebe and challenger Jerry Wilson.
Voters in the district also can pick from seven candidates to fill two elementary trustee seats. Those candidates include: incumbent Katharin Kelker and challengers Michael Burke, Michael Carson, Trish Flynn, Michael Huck, Karen Moses and Ken Peterson.
District 2 voters will also be asked to approve a $260,000 elementary technology levy and a $891,616 high school general-fund levy. Voters can ignore the $258,678 elementary general-fund levy request on the ballot.
Blue Creek District voters will be asked to approve $9,300, not the $46,000 that appears on the ballot. Canyon Creek Elementary District voters will see a levy for $94,777, but are being asked to approve $83,167.
Lockwood, Laurel levies Lockwood Elementary District voters will consider a $90,713 levy, not the $99,533 that appears on the ballot.
In Laurel, the school district is seeking a $28,000 levy for the elementary district and a $75,000 levy for the high school district. Each Laurel district is also seeking building reserves of $70,000 a year. The reserves run five years and are renewals of funds passed by voters in 1998, which means no net increase in the current taxes.
The Pioneer Elementary District is asking voters to approve a $14,850 levy. The Shepherd Public Schools District is seeking a $25,000 general-fund mill levy and the high school district is seeking a levy increase of $37,051.