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Three votes decide race for board of education seat

Sun Advocate publisher

School board candidates Ruby Cordova and Ed Chavez shake hands prior to the official canvass and certification of the votes cast in the 2006 election. After six absentee and provisional ballots were counted Monday, Cordova won the race for the school board seat by a three-vote margin.

Almost two weeks have passed since the 2006 elections, but one local race was not officially decided until Nov. 20 when Carbon commissioners along with the county clerk canvassed and certified the vote.

The school board election between Ruby Cordova of East Carbon and Ed Chavez of Wellington came down to six votes that had not been counted on election day. The votes were cast on absentee or provisional ballots.

With the six ballots counted, Cordova won the race for the school board seat with 455 votes compared to Chavez's 452.

The clerk's office received 95 ballots that were not registered on the electronic voting machines. Of the total, 85 were provisional ballots and 10 were absentee votes.

The clerk's office looked at all of the ballots and found that only 61 of the provisional votes were valid.

"We rejected 24 of them for various reasons," said clerk-auditor Robert Pero. "Some of the people who used provisional ballots weren't registered at all, some registered too late and a few were in the wrong precinct."

The clerk's office received 11 absentee ballots. But one was accompanied by a letter from a voter who said she was not eligible, so the ballot was pulled.

For the school board race, six extra ballots were counted and Cordova won the seat.

"It's been hard sleeping, but I am hopeful," said Cordova before the ballots were counted and certified.

On election night, the distance between the two candidates for the board of education race was three votes.

On Monday, Pero said one of the candidates could ask for a recount if the tally was less than seven votes apart. But after the total was announced, it appeared Chavez was not interested in requesting a recount.

"I just want you to know that I will support you all the way, Ruby," said Chavez. "I will do anything I can to help you."

The extra ballots that came in to affect the school board election were from precincts 19 (3 votes) 15, 26 and 20 (one vote each).

In the canvass and official count for the Nov. 7 county commission race, the final results indicated Democrat incumbent Bill Krompel defeated Republican challenger Gerald Lloyd by a margin of 2,971 ballots to 1,862 votes.

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