After months of controversy that included bans, resignations, protests, lawsuits and a heated recall campaign, Newberg School District voters finally got their opinion on the fate of Chairman Dave Brown and Vice Chairman Brian Shannon. Just after noon. On Tuesday, Yamhill County announced the first results of the recall election for Brown and Shannon, showing the two board directors who held their recall attempts. by a narrow margin. The counties of Washington and Clackama also published their findings, albeit in much smaller numbers given the size of their slices of the district.
Just after noon. On Tuesday, Yamhill County updated its results to include thousands of ballot papers that arrived earlier that day, expanding Brown and Shannon's lead and nearly cementing their safety from recall attempts.
In all, all three counties included, 7,407 people (52.06%) voted "No" to revoke Brown, while 6,821 (47.94%) voted "Yes." For Shannon, 7,470 people (52.16%) voted "No" and 6,852 people (47.84%) voted "Yes".
In Yamhill County, 7,200 (51.93%) voted "No" to revoke Brown and 6,666 (48.07%) voted "Yes" to the revocation. In Shannon's race, the vice president has 7,254 people (52.02%) who vote "No" on his recall with 6,690 (47.98%) who vote "Yes." So far, according to Yamhill County, turnout is 55.46%.
"What needs to be remembered with the numbers we posted at 8pm is that in very general terms, these are the ballots we got through early yesterday," Yamhill County Secretary Brian Van Bergen told The Oregonian / OregonLive straight after the first group of numbers was released. “It applies to every choice. What we have been working through this morning is also included in it. We have at least 13,000 ballot papers in the building, but only about 11,000 have gone through the scanning phase. The rest of the night we will catch up with those who came here this afternoon and we will also add the drop box ballot papers to the mix. "
In Washington County, 140 voters voted "No" in Brown's recall and 90 "Yes." 150 voted "No" in favor of Shannon's recall and 96 "Yes".
In Clackamas County, 67 people voted "No" to revoke Brown and 65 voted "Yes." 66 voters chose "Yes" and 66 chose "No" for Shannon.
Turnout is already far higher than when Brown and Shannon ran for the board - and higher than most school board races in general - with more ballots left to reach, according to Van Bergen. Brown and Shannon were elected in 2019 with a turnout of only 24.15% in the district.
From kl. At 21.39 in Yamhill County, 5,452 Republicans, 4,520 Democrats, 3,103 non-aligned and 1,028 "Other" voters had their ballots accepted.
More results are expected in the coming days, and a final, unofficial inventory is not expected until the beginning of next week. Under a new Oregon law, ballot papers postmarked on election day (January 18) will be counted if they arrive at the county clerk within seven days. Van Bergen had previously warned members of the public and media not to draw conclusions on election night because of the flexibility of the new law, which is being tested for the first time with this election.
"What we've seen over the last couple of elections is that 50 to 100 people get their ballots for us after election day," Van Bergen said. "It's the number we would typically expect, but it's the first time postmarks have counted, so it's really hard to guess how many more we can see. We do not know for sure how many ballots we have at all. to count for one more week.At that time we know how many ballots can be counted and after that there are two weeks where people can come in and cure their signature problems so their ballots can be added to the count.So we know only with certainty 21 days after the election. "
Matt Moriarty, senior strategist for both recall campaigns, told The Oregonian / OregonLive after the release of the first batch of results that he and others involved in the recall trusted the process.
"At this point, with so many ballots coming in with a postmark on January 18, it would be too early to comment on the outcome of this election," Moriarty said. "We trust our democracy. We trust our career county election officials. We trust that in the state of Oregon, the will of the electorate will be carried out fairly, whatever it may be."
Neither Brown nor Shannon responded immediately to requests for comment Tuesday night.
Brown and Shannon lead a four-person Conservative majority on a seven-member board that garnered national attention for its attempt to ban Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ + Pride symbols in schools, a ban that later developed to target all "political, quasi-political and controversial" symbols. After expressing their frustrations over his enforcement of the ban, the majority of the board voted to fire Superintendent Joe Morelock for no reason in November.
The district must now pay Morelock $ 175,000 plus additional benefits for the 12 months following his departure in November, along with the salary of a new superintendent once that person is elected. The board faces countless lawsuits, including one related to Morelock's firing, the ban on political symbols and other alleged violations of public assembly laws, all of which could potentially drain the district's coffers further.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.