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East Lansing School Board candidate files recount petition

Posted at 1:41 PM, Nov 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-24 14:14:37-05

An East Lansing School Board Candidate who lost by a slim margin has requested a recount.

Noel Garcia filed a recount petition on Wednesday, Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum confirms.

Garcia announced the move in a Facebook post.

"I went from winning a seat to losing to standing by for late precincts to report to wrongful voters being reported", the post reads. "In the end the board of canvassers certified a very close election where the deficit is 39 votes."

FOX 47 previously reported an election day mistake that could have impacted the East Lansing School Board race. The first 122 voters who showed up at Foster Community Center in Lansing were given East Lansing School District ballots, but 88 of those people were not East Lansing residents.

"That precinct is split between two school districts so there are different candidates and different offices on the ballot," said Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope. The East Lansing and Lansing ballots were placed in the same bag, which ultimately led to precinct workers pulling the wrong ballots, Swope explained.

Four seats on the East Lansing School Board were up for grabs. The official results show Garcia came in fifth place with 6,690 votes. Fourth place finisher Kath Edsall had 6,729 votes.

Byrum is hoping to schedule the recount for December 3-5 or December 10-12. Garcia had to pay $25 per precinct recounted, and the East Lansing School District will pay for the remainder of the recount costs. Byrum is in the process of hiring additional workers for the recount.

Other candidates have until November 28th to file an objection to the recount.

"The differential is less than 2 votes per precinct," Garcia said in the Facebook post. "With more than 17,000 votes cast I want to make sure that votes weren't missed and that the results are accurate."