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No recount in the works for close Central York school board race

Erin Bamer
York Dispatch

Although the winners and losers of a Central York school board election were separated by a thin margin, there does not appear to be a recount in the works, according to York County elections officials. 

York County deputy elections director Steve Ulrich said there were no automatic recounts triggered in any of the county's elections, and the elections office has not received any petitions for a recount. The county is expected to certify the election results this week; the results must be submitted to the state by Nov. 22. 

According to the latest election results, three Democrats and three Republicans will take seats on the Central York school board, including GOP incumbent Tim Strickler. The other incumbent in the race, Vice President Veronica Gemma, did not win her reelection bid, receiving the fewest votes of eight candidates. 

More:Another Democrat poised to take seat on Central York school board

The results of one of the two Central York races were close. With four seats up for grabs, Democrat Rebecca Riek edged out Republican Faith Casale for the fourth spot by just 23 votes, receiving 4,948 votes to Casale's 4,925. On election night, Casale was ahead of Riek by four votes, before provisional ballots pushed Riek ahead. 

The Central York school board race was an outlier in what appeared to be a Republican-dominated election night. Many GOP candidates won school board seats, even unseating some Democratic incumbents, according to the unofficial results. 

Discussions over masks and COVID-19 policies influenced several elections, and multiple candidates identified the public outrage over Central York's book ban, which was later reversed, as a major factor in the outcome.

Gemma was an early supporter of the book ban, and this year Democratic candidates criticized her for spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine. Democrat Amy Milsten, who is expected to win a seat along with fellow Democrats Corey Thurman and Riek, said Gemma is a "polarizing figure" in the community, and has more history with the board compared with her fellow incumbent, Strickler.

“Voters realize our school board doesn’t have Democrats or Republicans," Riek said in a Monday news release. "It has Panthers.”

Reach Erin Bamer at ebamer@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter @ErinBamer.