While the national spotlight is focused on the recent presidential election with vote recounts underway in Wisconsin and potential recounts pending in Michigan and Pennsylvania, Palo Alto’s Board of Education election is set to be recounted and certified in mid-December. The local race is one of 10 elections subject to recount due to the narrow margin of victory between two board member candidates vying for the final open seat.
In Santa Clara County, any elections that are within 0.5 percent of the total number of ballots cast automatically trigger a recount. With the narrow margins between incumbent Heidi Emberling and three-term trustee Melissa Baten Caswell, a recount will be called, even though Emberling had conceded to Baten Caswell after the Nov. 8 election.
In addition to the Palo Alto School Board election, there are other elections in Santa Clara County that will need to be recounted. These elections include the Los Altos Hills Town Council, Monte Sereno City Council, Los Alto City Council, Cupertino Union School District Board, San Jose City Council District 8, Gilroy City Council, Gilroy Unified School District Board and San Jose Unified School District parcel tax, Measure Y.
The automatic recount system is only being piloted, and has been in play since the June 7 primary election, which resulted in one recount of a San Jose City Council election. The piloted system has yet to change the results of any elections in the county.
The Registrar of Voters will oversee the recounting of votes for narrowly contested elections such as the Palo Alto School Board Election. A team of 150 staff members are tasked with the recount and are expected to certify the results by mid-December.