School Board Election Unchanged by Recount
A recount of ballots cast for three at-large seats on the Moore County Board of Education shows changes in totals but does not change the outcome.
Dale Frye, Sue Black and Pamela Thompson remain the winners in the six-way race for three at-large seats on the nonpartisan school board.
Two members of the Board of Elections and four staff members carried out the recount Monday afternoon, which extended into the night.
They recruited three assistants with the process late in the day when it became obvious the count would take longer than expected.
James Koch, who came in fourth, requested the recount because the totals for the second- and third-place finishers were within the allowable 1 percent margin.
His 7,367 votes in unofficial results were 59 fewer than Sue Black received and 132 fewer than Pamela Thompson received.
But the recount on Monday did little more than change each candidate's total -- some upward, others downward. Koch's total climbed by one vote in the recount. With the 26 provisional votes Koch received, his final total was 7,394, leaving him in fourth place.
"I'm disappointed but I'm going to take some time off in the holidays and decide what I'm going to do elsewise in the public arena," Koch said Tuesday. "I've already been talking to several board members about assisting them in the facilities plan that they have. ... We'll talk after the holidays about how I can help them with that.
"I'm going to be an active parent like I always have been."
The final numbers as recorded Tuesday morning are: Bobby W. Allen, 7,020; Black, 7,468; Judy Borden, 6,242; Frye, 11,429; Koch, 7,394; Thompson, 7,540. There were another 261 votes as write-ins.
Charles Lambert, the current board chairman, ran unopposed for the District 3 seat.
County Elections Director Glenda Clendenin said that the recount took far longer than expected because it was the first time such an effort had been undertaken on the new equipment. She estimated that it took her an hour to run 600 ballots through the machines.
The six who began work at 2 p.m. started with six machines, then added three machines when assistance was called in late in the afternoon. The machine work was completed at about 11 p.m. Monday, and the final tabulations were made Tuesday morning.
Clendenin said that most of the differences detected in the recount were due to human error, because some voters did not mark ballots clearly enough for the equipment to provide an accurate reading of voter intent.
For example, some voters marked an X in the oval beside the candidate instead of filling in the oval with black pencil.
No malfunction of the equipment was detected.
The Board of Education recount was conducted in concert with a statewide recount of one race for Court of Appeals judge between Linda Stephens and Donna Stroud.
Moore County purchased new equipment this year in compliance with a law passed by the 2005 session of the General Assembly. The new law requires all counties to use equipment with a paper backup.
The equipment, first used in the May primary, calls for voters to mark paper ballots, which are then fed into electronic recording machines.
Florence Gilkeson can be reached at 947-4962 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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