NewsLocal News


Date set for East Lansing School Board recount

Posted at 8:55 AM, Dec 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-06 08:55:06-05

The recount for a local school board election will be more difficult and possibly more expensive than it was to recount the 2016 presidential race.

The Ingham County Board of Canvassers worked out the details for the East Lansing School Board recount Wednesday.

The recount will start Monday morning at the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason.

It could last anywhere from one to three days.

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum says this recount presents more problems than the 2016 presidential race.

"There are seven candidates. So the recount workers will have to tally votes for all seven candidates, unlike the presidential election where there were significantly less candidates," said Byrum.

The board decided Wednesday morning workers will receive $150 for an 11 hour shift.

That adds up to nearly $7,000 just in labor.

"Plus the sheriff's deputy that will be guarding the ballots when my staff and I are not there, plus the renting of tables, chairs, the changing of the locks, we're probably looking at about $20,000," said Byrum.

East Lansing School Board candidate Noel Garcia filed for a recount after losing by less than 40 votes.

"He felt obligated to his supporters to give it a second look," said Lisa Babcock, the attorney representing Garcia.

A mix-up at a precinct in Lansing may have impacted the school board race.

Some voters mistakenly received an East Lansing School District ballot when they were not East Lansing residents.

"Because the ballots go in without a name attached to them, we learned today that they will not be able to tell which votes were erroneously cast," said Babcock.

Garcia is required to pay $25 per precinct that's being recounted, and the East Lansing School District will pay the rest which has some residents upset.

"For schools, that's an awful lot of money. That's a lot of resources that aren't being made available to students," said Dale Downs, East Lansing resident.

Garcia's lawyer says she hopes future lawmakers will reassess the amount for recount elections.

"Perhaps they'll take a second look at that and shift the costs or spread the costs over many organizations, including the organizations responsible for conducting the election," said Babcock.

The county clerk is still looking for people to work the recount.

To apply, visit