Recount Scheduled In Grapevine-Colleyville School Board Race

Andrew Greenstein
May 16, 2018 - 6:29 am
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Credit: Jessica J. Trevino/Detroit Free Press via USA TODAY NETWORK

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FORT WORTH (1080 KRLD) - A recount will get underway Friday in a race for a seat on the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD board -- and it's all because some voters failed to follow directions.

Incumbent Becky St. John and challenger Amy Putnam are vying for the place two seat on the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD board.

An initial count of all ballots from the May 5th election -- including provisional and overseas military ballots -- showed that St. John got exactly the number of votes needed for a 50-percent-plus-one majority.

The unofficial results posted on the GCISD website showed that of the 6,293 ballots counted, St. John got 3,147 votes, or 50.01%.

Putnam got 3,138 votes, or 49.86%.

Write-in candidate Nick Walters got eight votes.

Tarrant County Elections Administrator Heider Garcia says in a routine manual sampling of some ballots, there were some ballots cast for Putnam that the machine didn't catch.

"Two ballots were marked with checkmarks instead of fully shading the square that you have to do to vote," says Garcia. "We think the scanner missed those two because they were very lightly selected and part of those marks were outside the box."

Had those votes been marked properly so that the machine would have caught them, that would have prevented St. John from achieving a majority.

Putnam has filed for a recount with the district, and the Tarrant County elections office will do a manual recount of all ballots cast in that race Friday morning.

In a recount, the law says those counting the ballots must consider voter intent and not whether the voter properly followed instructions.

"The elections code is pretty clear about voter intent being a factor to determine, when you do the recount, how to interpret a ballot," Garcia says.​