A tale of 2 votes: Clyncke declared winner of South Routt school board seat after final count; recount still possible
The winner of the District 6 seat on the South Routt Board of Education was finally confirmed Friday following a neck-and-neck race that left no clear victor on election night.
In a 386-384 outcome, Jeffery Clyncke has been elected to the school board, defeating Stephanie Carolus. There will be no automatic recount, according to Routt County Clerk and Recorder Kim Bonner. Carolus is able to request a recount, though she would have to cover the costs, Bonner said.
“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity to represent our schools,” Clyncke said of his victory Friday.
Carolus called Clyncke when she learned of the results.
“She told me, ‘Congratulations,’” he said. “I just want to thank Stephanie for running so that voters had a choice.”
The result came down to just a handful of ballots, Bonner said, part of a countywide total of 129 ballots counted Friday that were either held back or needed to be cured. Ballots need to be cured when they are rejected during the counting process, typically for issues with signatures. Three ballots were also discovered in Rio Blanco County, which includes a small portion of the South Routt district. Those three votes went to Clyncke.
Four ballots were held back from the initial total vote, and five were in a batch to be cured for signatures. Only one person cured their signature, Bonner said, and there was an undervote on one of the ballots, which is when no vote is cast. So, after Friday’s cure, Clyncke gained four additional votes and Carlous gained three.
With a two-vote difference, the county was cleared of performing a statutory recount.
In Colorado, a recount is triggered if the margin is less than or equal to 0.5% of the leading votegetter’s total. If the margin had remained at one vote, there would have been an automatic recount.
While a rare occurrence, a recount was most recently seen in the 2017 election, when a tie was initially reached in the vote for Referendum 3A that asked Hayden voters to approve a $22 million bond issue for schools.
After this year’s election night tally, Clyncke edged out Carolus by one vote. Votes earlier that night saw Carolus also leading by a single vote.
“One vote difference,” Clyncke said on election night. “It’s kind of good because it’s proof that people are out there trying to make their decisions, so we had a very tight one.”
Carolus said the suspense of such a close vote was nerve-wracking, but she is confident whatever the outcome the new board will have a good new member.
“Either one of us would be a totally good candidate; I have 100% confidence,” Carolus said. “I’m happy if it’s him, and I’m happy if it’s me.”
To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email bmartin@SteamboatPilot.com.
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