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Three-Person Recount Board Manages Tea Bond Recount

May 21, 2014, 9:55 PM by Jared Ransom

Three-Person Recount Board Manages Tea Bond Recount
TEA, SD -

With a vote of 912 in support of the bond and 610 against, the Tea Area School bond is now officially rejected, still needing two votes for approval. It was an expected result, even from those who were chosen to count the ballots.

It was 90 minutes in the Tea Area School District board room that determined once and for all whether the recent school bond vote would be official. The process to get to this point started one week ago.

"Once the election is officially canvassed by the board, that's when the question was asked about the recount and the paperwork was filed right away the next morning," business manager Kathy Cleveland said.

The search quickly began for a three-person panel to conduct the recount, and according to state regulations, the recount board needed people that both supported and opposed the bond.

"It was a close election, that's why we new we needed to do the recount just in case," Deb Svanda said.

"I did, at one point, voice an opinion to vote no on the recent bond issue, and they asked me to be a part of the board," Lynn DeYoung said.

There was also an impartial voice on the panel that both sides approved. That voice came into play when one challenge was raised.

"Having a referee. I did question one ballot mainly because there was an X in the 'No' box and then it looked like it was scribbled out," Svanda said.

The board was able to agree that the ballot in question should remain a ' No' by determining the voter intent.

"I thought they did a good job. There's a couple of administrative rulings that focus on the intent of the voter, the board has to decide what the intent of the voter was," Cleveland said.

It was the only major challenge during the recount process, but one changed ballot would've had major implications on the result.

In the end, nothing changed and the results are official.

"I think it's a little intimidating to walk in off the street and just go for it," DeYoung said. "It was very objective. Things worked well going back and forth and I think that the end of the recount, we showed that democracy works.

While these results are now official, that does not mean the projects will disappear. The Tea Area School Board will be discussing the future of their district projects at next Monday's board meeting.

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