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Massapequa Board of Education wants recount on election results

The Massapequa Board of Education is asking the state Education Department to allow a hand recount of ballots cast in last month's school vote because a voting machine may have malfunctioned, the district posted on its website Friday.

The district wants a recount from Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia's office because one machine at McKenna Elementary School registered two tie votes for four candidates. The notice on the website did not specify which candidates, but said "two candidates each received 362 votes and the other two each received 290 votes, suggesting that this machine may not have scanned and registered the trustee votes accurately."

The recount would not impact the budget or bond vote. The district's budget passed 2,526 to 1,045. A proposition authorizing spending $7.15 million for construction and space reconfiguration projects passed 2,271-1,181, but a proposition to expand the number of board of education seats from five to seven failed 2,027-1,479.

Running for the school board in the May 21 election were Allison Steakin, Cher Lepre, Erik Gustafson and Michael McCann. Steakin had 1,625 votes and Lepre 1,612, according to election results provided by the district. They defeated Gustafson, who had 1,278 votes, and McCann, who had 1,569.

There were four polling sites in the district, including McKenna Elementary. No other polling place was cited in the website announcement.

Steakin, who won by 13 votes, received a three-year term, while Lepre received a one-year term to fill a vacant seat. The candidates could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

District officials declined to comment further Friday. Officials there said the paper ballots have been secured since the night of the election, pending the commissioner's ruling.

"The board's action is intended to assure the integrity of the vote. While the board awaits the commissioner's decision and possible recount, all board business will be conducted in accordance with the election results on May 21, 2019," according to the notice on the website.

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