District election recount set for Thursday

first_imgNORWALK – A recount is set for Thursday to determine a final winner in a tied election race for a seat on the Los Nietos School District board of trustees. Challenger Diana Villalba and incumbent Gloria Duran received 903 votes apiece in last month’s elections. Villalba requested the recount Monday from the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office. Villalba has agreed to pay the $2,096 per-day rate for the recount. She said she will use money from her campaign fund. There were three open seats in the school board election. The first two went to Art Escobedo and Grisel Vasquez. Duran and Villalba tied for the third seat after a final vote count last week. Villalba said she requested the recount because she could not imagine having the tie broken “by lot,” a simple coin toss or the drawing of a slip of paper . However, a final decision might have to be made by chance, depending on the results. “I just couldn’t bear the thought of a tossed coin (being the deciding factor), something that would be over in two seconds,” Villalba said Tuesday. “Oh my God, no. I couldn’t imagine it.” County election officials said it was unclear how long the recount will take. However, Los Nietos is the smallest among Whittier area school districts, with just over 2,800 voters casting ballots in November’s elections. Once the recount is completed, the results should be available rather quickly, said Deborah Wright, executive liaison officer for the county clerk’s office. Duran, a 16-year school board veteran, said she was glad Villalba asked for the recount because she was not able to pay for it. “To me, (my) chances are still there,” Duran said. “Whether it’s a drawing by lot, there’s still a chance. One of us is going to get it.” Earlier Tuesday, however, a recount was nearly postponed after election officials debated whether they could conduct a recount when the district had not yet determined a winner. “A recount is something you do after a winner is declared,” Wright had said. However, after officials conferred with legal counsel, the decision to greenlight the recount was made. Villalba initially requested a recount of only three of the district’s four precincts, but county officials said a recount will change nothing unless every ballot is counted. “I’m sure we will remind candidates and their representatives at that time that it doesn’t count unless you do all the precincts,” Wright said. Villalba also requested that a manual tally and a computer tally of the ballots be conducted, which Wright characterized as an unusual request. If there was a discrepancy between the two tallies, Wright said current law does not specify which method would take precedence. recount [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more