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Ballots recounted in tight District 833 School Board race

CUTLINE: Washington County elections supervisor Carol Peterson recounts ballots in the District 833 School Board race Thursday while candidate Molly Lutz (far right) and others look on. Lutz fell short of a School Board seat by five votes. (Bulletin photo by Scott Wente)

“Molly, other, other, other, Molly, Sharon, Molly, other…”

So was the routine Thursday morning as Washington County election officials recounted votes in the District 833 School Board race.

Molly Lutz requested the recount after losing by five votes to fellow Woodbury resident Sharon Van Leer, who secured the final of four four-year School Board seats with 2,463 votes in the Nov. 5 election. Lutz finished with 2,458, a 0.2 percent short of Van Leer and within the threshold needed to trigger a district-paid recount at Lutz’s request.

Ballot by ballot, Washington County elections supervisor Carol Peterson announced aloud which candidate the voter chose. Some did not select Lutz or Van Leer, while other ballots included votes for both.

A total of 10,176 votes were cast in the election.

Lutz and a representative for Van Leer were among a handful of people watching the recount at the county government center in Stillwater. The recount, which only involved counting Lutz and Van Leer votes, was expected to cost the district roughly $500.

There were a total of five open seats on the School Board. The fifth spot is a two-year seat won by incumbent Laurie Johnson.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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