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Recount in knotted race postponed

first_imgWEST WHITTIER – The recount in a tied school board race at the Los Nietos School District has been postponed until Monday, election officials said Wednesday. The recount was requested by school board candidate Diana Villalba, who tied for the third and final open seat on the panel with incumbent Gloria Duran in the Nov. 8 elections. Deborah Wright, executive liaison officer for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s Office, said delays in processing the paperwork for the recount caused officials to postpone it twice Wednesday – from today to Friday, then from Friday to next week. It is now scheduled to get under way at 9 a.m. Monday, officials said. But the election tie and recount delays have disrupted the Los Nietos district’s generally smooth process of swearing in new board members and electing new officers. The election of new officers, done during the board’s annual reorganizational meeting, must take place by Dec. 17, said Los Nietos Superintendent Lillian Maldonado French. If the recount is completed Monday and if it confirms the tie between Duran and Villalba, that means the district would have only four regular business days to conduct a tiebreaker and hold its reorganizational meeting. In that case, French said most likely the board would have “an interested, connected party” draw the winning name to break the tie. If the recount shows one candidate has more votes than the other, French said the district “would abide by whatever the Registrar-Recorder’s Office decision is.” “But we’re still working on procedures to put in place if there’s an actual tie,” French said. “We will have a board meeting to set the time and place of where the drawing would take place.” As for the recount, officials said observers can be present, though there are restrictions on where they can stand. “The observers can be behind them and looking at what they’re doing,” said Registrar-Recorder’s Office spokeswoman Grace Chavez. “They may not touch the ballots.” The process will involve four people from the Registrar-Recorder’s Office. There will also be a “challenge board” that will go over any challenged ballots at the end of the day, Chavez said. This board will determine whether the ballots should be counted. Villalba has agreed to pay the $2,096 daily cost of the recount from her campaign fund, in hopes that it will only take one day to count the ballots of about 2,800 voters who went to the polls last month. If it takes longer than that, Villalba would have to pay $2,096 every day until the recount is completed. Mike Sprague contributed to this story. [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