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Recount confirms Van Leer District 833 School Board victory

Molly Lutz (top right) and others watch Washington County election workers hand count ballots in the District 833 School Board race at the Washington County Government Center. Lutz sought the recount after losing by five votes to Sharon Van Leer for a four-year seat on the School Board. Van Leer gained one vote in the recount, giving her a six-vote margin of victory. She and other School Board members will be sworn into office in January. (Bulletin photo by Scott Wente)

Sharon Van Leer is headed to the South Washington County School Board after all.

A manual recount this week of the District 833 School Board election totals reaffirmed earlier results showing Van Leer narrowly edged out Molly Lutz for the final of four four-year seats.

Washington County elections officials started the recount of 10,000-plus ballots Thursday morning and completed the tally Friday at the government center in Stillwater.

Lutz requested the district-paid recount after falling five votes behind Van Leer for the final four-year seat in the Nov. 5 election. Due to the narrow margin between the two candidates, state law allowed Lutz to request the recount at no cost to her.

Van Leer picked up a vote during the hand tally, giving her a six-vote win over Lutz. Both Van Leer and Lutz are Woodbury residents. Van Leer will be sworn in with other School Board members in January.

The recount is expected to cost School District 833 about $500, according to district Communications Director Barb Brown.

Check back for updates to this story.

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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