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School board candidate backs out of recount

Posted at 6:02 AM, Dec 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-07 09:09:12-05

An East Lansing School Board Candidate who lost the race by 39 votes has decided not to go forward with a recount.

Noel Garcia withdrew his recount petition on Thursday afternoon.

In a press release sent to News 10, Garcia says he decided to back out after consulting with the Board of Canvassers and realizing the high cost of the process. Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum estimated the recount would cost around $20,000. The East Lansing School District would be required to pay for most of it.

"I hope my supporters understand that although I felt we had an opportunity to be part of the process to help improve elections in Ingham County, I could not bear the thought of putting a bill on the superintendent's desk for up to $20,000 with my name associated with it. Our teachers and students need those dollars to be spent in the classroom and not on a re-count," said Garcia in a statement.

Garcia initially filed the recount petition citing concerns over absentee ballots and the misinterpretation of precinct ballot markings.

The recount was scheduled to begin Monday, December 10 at the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason. Byrum says even though it is now canceled, tables, chair, pallets and supplies have already been ordered and delivered.

"Any costs that are associated with the preparation of the recount, which are approximately $1,600, will still be incurred by the East Lansing School District," says Byrum. Her office is working to mitigate costs as best as possible.