LTUSD election results
Staring at her computer screen, Wendy David breathed a sigh of relief around 11:40 p.m. Tuesday night.
That was the moment David realized she would keep her seat on the Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board of Education with an unofficial 45 percent of the vote. Madeline Fernald, who sat on the board with David, received 36 percent of the vote to retain her seat. Challenger Jonnie Crawford amassed 18 percent.
David, the president of the school board, waited in her house with about 20 friends, continually revisiting the El Dorado County Elections Department Internet page to keep tabs on the election.
“I was relieved,” she said when the results flashed on the screen. “I, of course, served one term and am excited to serve the district for another four years.”
“It’s stressful,” she said. “It’s a hard waiting game at the end.”
Fernald also kept a keen eye on the web page. While spending time at board member Lennie Schwartz’s house with a handful of people, Fernald said she was pleased when it became evident she won at 11:20 p.m.
“I’m really grateful for the support,” Fernald said. “I’ve only been in Tahoe for three years and I’m really grateful that people take an interest in the school board.”
Fernald said she was not surprised by the voter turnout since it was a relatively small election. The unofficial turnout Tuesday night was a 21.3 percent of registered voters compared to a 28.2 percent in the 1999 school board election, an election official said.
“I knew it would be low,” Fernald said. “I would have hoped it to be more but I understand.”
Jonnie Crawford, the challenger to the board’s two open seats, spent Tuesday night asleep and didn’t discover the results until morning. She described the campaign as an educational experience.
“It was interesting,” Crawford said. “I learned some things. I’m sorry more people did not participate. Even with all this talk of patriotism and everything, what sets this country apart is the right to vote.”
The final tally was not completed Tuesday night but the “races in South Lake Tahoe were very decisive” and thus the remaining votes would not determine the race, said Michelle MacIntyre of the El Dorado County Elections Department.
“It was very smooth,” MacIntyre said of the elections. “If March goes this well I’ll be very pleased.”
David will remain president of the school board until Dec. 11, at which time a vote will decide if she’ll continue in that capacity or a new board member will take over.
Official results will be available today.