For those who doubt the importance of one vote, let the Norwin School Board race in the GOP primary serve as an educational moment.
One vote from the sliver of Allegheny County located in the Norwin School District — which has 30 voters on two streets in White Oak and South Versailles — gave Keith Genicola of North Huntingdon the apparent win over Joanna Jordan of Irwin for the fifth and final spot on the Republican ballot in the November election, according to unofficial election results.
There were five votes cast on the Republican ballot in Allegheny County, which was the total one voter could cast in the school board race. No ballots were cast on the Democratic ticket.
“I have not had time to digest this. It’s confusing to me,” Jordan said, after learning of her defeat on the Republican ticket. She did win a spot on the Democratic ballot in November, edging Tracey Czajkowski by one vote — 1,039 to 1,038 — for the fourth of five spots, according to unofficial results.
The preliminary results of the May 21 primary in Allegheny County will be posted Wednesday. Candidates have a right to challenge the results in court by filing a request for a recount by June 10, an elections spokesman said.
Jordan said she will discuss with the Republican committee her options for seeking a recount.
“There are a variety of challenges,” Jordan said. “I’m learning a civics lesson all over again.”
Genicola, who lost his bid for the Democratic nomination, could not be reached for comment.
Totals on election night showed Jordan had edged Genicola in Westmoreland, 1,087 votes to 1,086, for the last spot on the Republican ballot.
However, after the final counts, Jordan and Genicola each had 1,087 votes in Westmoreland County, where most of the district’s residents live in Irwin, North Irwin and North Huntingdon.
Because of the tie in Westmoreland, Genicola and Jordan cast lots on Friday to determine the winner . Genicola shook out the losing red ball, giving Jordan the win.
Beth Lechman, Westmoreland County Elections Bureau director, said she did not learn the unofficial results of the Allegheny County portion of the district until Tuesday. If she had known before then, Lechman said they would not have had the Norwin candidates cast lots.
Lechman said there will be a special meeting of the county elections board Friday to review the school board results, as well as those for Belle Vernon Area School Board, where Robert Harhai and Gloria Yuschak ended in a tie for the top spot on the Republican ticket. That district crosses into Fayette County.
The election results will be certified Monday, Lechman said.