Hillary Clinton won the popular vote Tuesday by a razor thin margin
If narrowly winning the popular vote was the end-all-be-all we would have a different President elect today, but according to the system we've used since our inception -- the electoral college -- she got clobbered.
Just as the Amherst ballot question that same day for the new $67 Mega School passed by the same razor thin margin as Secretary Clinton did nationwide, but if Town Meeting perfectly mirrors that vote on Monday night it will be considered a blow out failure because 66.67% support is required.
This morning despite the best efforts of Chair Alisa Brewer the Select Board decided not to overly play politics with the issue by simply putting out a statement saying the ballot question -- which was originally reported by a mainstream newspaper to have failed -- has passed by a comfortable enough margin (122 votes or less than 1%) to consider it passed.
The Chair also threatened to all but castigate anyone who would dare request a recount as being politically motivated to sabotage the process. Ouch.
In order for the bulldozers to break ground the Mass School Building Authority requires a majority vote at the ballot box AND a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting. Should the motion fail to garner two thirds support on Monday night the Select Board could call another Town Meeting before February 2nd to get the required approval.
Twenty years ago Town Meeting overwhelmingly supported the $22 million debt exclusion Override for the High School renovation/expansion but it failed at the ballot box the first time. Town official brought it back within the 120 day deadline and it passed the second time (but still not even close to the wide margin shown by "Representative" Town Meeting).
In fact only once before out of all the Overrides over the past 25 years did the Select Board put the question to the voters first before having Town Meeting take it up. In that case it passed because the pressure was put on Town Meeting to "support the will of the voters".
In this case, however, considering the high number of student voters who turned out -- which is typical for a Presidential election -- and how razor thin the margin of victory for the Override ballot question, Town Meeting will be under no such pressure.
The Select Board previously voted 100% unanimously to support the Mega School