A tie has been declared in a race for a seat on the Pine Grove Area school board. How it got to that point is interesting, to say the least.
On Friday afternoon in a hearing before Schuylkill County President Judge William Baldwin, write-in candidate Amanda Daubert was awarded 4 more votes than she was originally given. The 4 additional votes she got Friday were actually cast for Amanda Wertz, Daubert’s maiden name. She petitioned to get those voting for her maiden name added to total votes for her married name.
Now, that decision gave Daubert a total of 569 votes. And as far as most knew, that would give her a 1-vote victory over another write-in candidate, Jennifer Modesto, who the last anyone in the public knew, had 568 votes after write-ins were originally counted.
That’s what appeared on a public report of the 2021 election results posted to the Schuylkill County website on Nov. 12:
But, according to Daubert’s attorney Shane Hobbs, the County Election Bureau announced Friday that 1 vote had been found this week for Modesto. The county said the vote was recorded on a ballot used in a special voting machine designed for the visually impaired. Although the vote is recorded on the ballot, it’s still fed into the same scanner that ordinary ballots are placed at each precinct on Election Day.
The Schuylkill Election Bureau produced an updated results report on Friday, about 15 minutes after Baldwin agreed to hear Daubert’s petition to get the votes she believed were hers. On that report, it shows Modesto with 1 more vote than what appears on the report above.
Now, with Daubert getting 4 votes and Modesto getting 1 vote, there’s a tie with 569 votes per candidate.
The tie will be broken on Monday through the casting of lots process.
Daubert and Modesto were among several write-in candidates vying for a couple seats on the Pine Grove Area school board. A total of 5 seats were up for grabs and 3 were won by candidates that appeared on the ballot. Andrea Primeau got the most write-in votes and won a 4th seat available.