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Democrat Has Narrow Lead In Colorado Board Of Education Race

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Scheffel Campaign/McClellan Campaign
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Republican Debora Scheffel and Democrat Rebecca McClellan are in a close race for the 6th Congressional District seat on the Board of Education.

Democrats have a chance to gain control of Colorado’s Board of Education, which oversees public schools. As of late Monday, Democrat Rebecca McClellan holds a 1,125-vote lead over incumbent Republican Debora Scheffel in the race for the 6th Congressional District seat.

 

The district is split roughly equally between independent, Democratic and Republican voters. McClellan, a former Centennial City Council member and small business owner, expected a tight race.

 

“I know this is going to be a very close election and we’re being patient while every vote is counting,” McClellan said. “This is one race that could go right down to the wire.”

 

The seven-member board currently has four Republicans and three Democrats who are expected to contend with many issues, including what to do about failing schools and reviewing academic standards.

 

The lead in the race has changed several times in the past week as ballots continued to be tallied and posted online by state election officials.

 

And it could change again. More ballots are expected to trickle in, said Lynn Bartels, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Secretary of State. County clerks are “curing” some ballots that have signatures that don’t appear to match the voter’s signature on record. In that process, election officials reach out to voters to verify their ballot. There are also military and overseas ballots left to be counted, along with any provisional ballots that were cast, Bartels said.

 

It could take several more days for clerks to verify results to send to the state, Bartels said.Depending on how closely the race ends, a recount may be required by law.

 

The last time there was a statewide recount of ballots was in 2000. That was also a State Board of Education race; Jared Polis won it by 90 votes. The state paid for that recount because it fell within the one-half of 1 percent margin difference stipulated in the state law.

 

With 355,467 ballots counted as of late Monday, the margin of victory for either McClellan or Scheffel would need to be around 891 votes to trigger an automatic recount. That margin may change depending on the final number of votes.

 

If the margin is outside an automatic recount, the loser can request one, but the loser -- or their campaign -- would have to pay for it..

 

Scheffel, a dean and professor of education at Colorado Christian University, did not return a message to KUNC News before deadline.

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