Recount in Fort Mill School Board race

scetrone@heraldonline.comNovember 11, 2012 

— Election officials must recount votes in the school board race in Fort Mill before winners can be validated, York County Elections Director Wanda Hemphill said Sunday.

Two races are affect one of three seats that were up for election on the Fort Mill school board. The recounts was triggered late Friday, after election officials finished counting provisional votes – ballots given to voters at the polls when there is a question about their eligibility to cast a vote. Those ballots are verified and counted after the election.

Once they were added, winners and losers in the school board races were separated by less than 1 percent of the total number of votes cast.

In such cases, Hemphill said, the law requires a recount.

In Fort Mill, seven people ran for three seats. The three candidates with the most votes were Scott Patterson, Pam Martin and Tom Audette.

Michele Branning, who received 6,747 votes, was 363 votes behind Audette.

In that race, 46,301 votes were cast. Anything less than a difference of 463 votes would trigger a recount.

“I welcome the recount because it’s such a tight race,” Branning said.

Audette said he’s fine with it.

“It’s just part of the process,” he said.

Election officials plan to hold the recount at 10 a.m. Tuesday. They hope that will leave enough time Monday to fix a ballot-counting machine that broke down before the provisional count, Hemphill said. If not, they will use a slower, back-up scanner.

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