Take two: Idaho Falls charter elects trustees

Idaho Falls charter school patrons have elected three trustees — nearly six months after a botched election that was plagued with allegations of electioneering.

Mark Duncanson, Emma Lee Robinson and Jim Seamans were elected to White Pine Charter School’s board of directors Tuesday, Brennen Kauffman of the Idaho Falls Post Register reported.

Robinson and Seamans were among the three leaders in May’s ill-fated election, Kauffman reported.

After the election, the school launched an investigation into electioneering complaints against trustee Joanna Stark.

In his investigation, attorney Doug Nelson found that Stark had made “strong statements of advocacy” for two candidates, Robinson and Amber Beck. Nelson said the actions did not violate the state’s electioneering law, and Stark denied wrongdoing.

But Nelson found other procedural problems with the May election. The school had no mechanism to track who had voted. Some paper ballots were thrown away after milk was spilled on them inadvertently.

And Nelson’s investigation was not without problems. Trustees approved the investigation in a closed executive session, committing to spend at least $10,877 of public funding and violating Idaho’s open meeting law in the process.

Citing concerns with its online security system, White Pine used only paper ballots Tuesday, Kauffman reported.

White Pine has an enrollment of about 600 kindergarten through eighth-grade students. Its enrollment increased by about 70 students this year.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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