Sonora, CA -In an ironic twist, Summerville High Schools eight million dollar bond measure that originally failed by just two votes after the provisional votes were counted has now passed by just two votes in a recount. Last Tuesday, voter Barbra Kerr agreed to pay for Tuolumne County election staff to do a recount of the votes. The counting started this morning at nine and ended just before 5 p.m.
Elections Official Debi Russell-Bautista says, “In the recount the yes votes increased by nine and the no votes increased by one. The final tally is 2,610 yes votes, 2,131 no votes and the measure needed a 55 percent majority or 2,608 yes votes to pass, so it passed by two votes.”
Bautista says the first count was done on a machine and she believes some of the penciled in circles were too light so the machine missed or read the votes wrong. She says another voter could challenge this new outcome. However, she says it is unlikely the votes would change since in the recount each ballot was tallied by hand with at least six staff members watching the counting. Also, Bautista says the voter will get her money back since the outcome of the election changed.
District Superintendent Dr. John Keiter had this reaction, “Maybe there’s a poetic outcome here, but obviously it’s a very slim margin and we’ll do our best to show the community they made a great decision.”
Keiter says the next steps for the school board are to plan the bond sales, form a citizen’s oversight committee and a steering committee to decide what order to do the projects in.