The Kanawha County school board could have conducted its special excess levy balloting on the same day as a regular election, saving $350,000 extra taxpayer expense for poll workers and county crews on overtime.
But board members felt they would have a better chance for success if the special Saturday election was a small, separate, little-noticed event attracting only voters who cared deeply about adding extra support for schools and the county library system.
Boy, were they wrong. Tax-haters and the county Republican committee mobilized against the plan, pummeling it into a four-to-one defeat. Results probably wouldn't have been worse if voting had been done while polls already were open for political balloting.
In addition to losing millions in extra property tax revenue, the school board also lost the $350,000 cost of a special day of precinct operations. What a fiasco.
This mess prodded county commission president Kent Carper to call for a new state law requiring special levy elections to be held simultaneously with regular elections.
"It's a total waste of taxpayers' dollars to have an election every time you turn around," he told reporter Rusty Marks.
This makes sense. The new 2014 state Legislature should give serious consideration to Carper's suggestion.