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Recount doesn’t alter school board race

The recount of the District 4 race between four candidates vying for two seats on the South Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Education was concluded Monday with no change in the election. Incumbent Karen Lopp, who petitioned for the recount, gained four votes on incumbent Mike McGraw, who won the second seat 2,908 to 2,898.
Lopp filed the petition Nov. 8 with Harrison County Circuit Clerk Carole Gaither. The procedure cost Lopp $317 and took what amounted to nearly four days for the three-member recount commission to complete its work.
Harrison Circuit Court Judge H. Lloyd (Tad) Whitis appointed a Democrat, a Republican and a third person familiar with the voting machines to complete the recount process, which had to be finished by Dec. 20. The results were passed to Whitis, the Indiana Election Division and the four candidates, Gaither said.
The two other candidates’ vote totals did not change significantly and their respective finishes in the election were never in question. The other seat in District 4 was won by former school board member Roger Windell, whose original tally was 3,371 votes, or 482 more than McGraw’s original tally.
McGraw gained 19 votes as a result of the recount, and Lopp gained 23.
Prior to the recount, Gaither said there is little margin of error when using the voting machines. The ballots require that voters draw a line completing an arrow to denote their choice. Less than one percent of the ballots cast were counted as other than the voter intended and most miscounted ballots had been incorrectly marked.
A voting machine will reject inappropriately marked ballots in some cases, but the machine could read an inappropriately marked ballot as not being marked at all. The machine would assume a voter made no choice in that particular race and accept the ballot.
Lopp said that she hadn’t originally planned to ask for the recount, but her friends encouraged her to.
Both McGraw and Lopp were seeking second terms.
The last recount in Harrison County – the county judge’s race between Maryland L. Austin and Carlton E. Sanders in 1984 – also failed to change the outcome of that election.

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