I'll confess to a little surprise at the outcome of tonight's vote. I had the percentage close - I was privately saying 57-43 and it was 56-44. But I had the numbers reversed and the loss I expected was a win.
The evening felt scripted for drama, as North Liberty and Coralville, the expected centers of opposition, reported late turnout surges that boosted turnout to 6079 voters, up from my late in the day guesstimate of 5000. And the absentee results, the first numbers in, were tight with just an eight vote lead for yes.
(That's part of why my prediction was off - the early voters were more negative.)
Yes took a more solid lead as polling places reported and the east side reported earliest. City High and Lemme had the highest Yes percentages in the mid to high 60s, with Lucas and Horace Mann close behind. Lemme also had the highest turnout percentage at over 15; the east side has historically dominated city and school elections and they turned out.
Coralville and North Liberty came in later. Most of the media - and the school board - called Yes a winner after Coralville reported just a narrow No vote (51-49%). One new twist at the office this cycle (along with a new auditor) was getting the top-line results out fast on Twitter. And the reporters - mostly busy with the simultaneous school board meeting - ate it up.
North Liberty sealed the deal by actually voting in favor of the plan. After that, the 80% No out of the last precinct, Hills, was anticlimactic. Hills is by far the smallest school precinct and has often been an outlier in results.
While the numbers were coming in the school board was casting its third and final 4 to 3 vote on the diversity policy. So the immediate battles are over, but we can look forward to a hot school board election this September...
... and probably two more elections before that. Republicans meet tomorrow night to nominate their supervisor candidate, and that vote is just 28 days away.