IOWA CITY – The Johnson County justice center bond referendum failed by fewer than 3,000 votes.
A total of 63,605 votes were cast on the measure – 35,403 in favor and 28,202 against. That’s 56 percent for and 44 percent opposed, but a supermajority of 60 percent was needed to pass.
Sixty percent would have been 38,163 votes.
Of course, there still may be outstanding absentee ballots, which could be mailed as late as Monday, to be counted. And the official canvass of votes is Nov. 14. But the final numbers are unlikely to change by much.
Overall, 75,463 total votes were cast in Johnson County. Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek last night noted the lower turnout for the justice center vote and wondered if getting more people to flip the ballot (the justice center question was on the back of the ballot) could have made a difference.
County officials said they were happy getting support from a majority of voters and said they may seek another election on the justice center.