OC School Board Member Requests Recount After Losing Election by 1 Vote

December 2, 2020 Updated: December 2, 2020

One of the candidates for a spot on the Brea Olinda Unified School District board has been granted a recount after her opponent won the Nov. 3 election by a single vote.

Gail Lyons, the incumbent for Trustee Area 5, received 1,804 total votes in the election, or 49.99 percent, while her opponent, newcomer Lauren Barnes, received 1,805 votes, or 50.01 percent.

According to the Orange County Registrar of Voters, Lyons requested the recount, which was scheduled to begin on Dec. 2 at 10 a.m. at the Registrar’s Office in Santa Ana, California.

The process will be livestreamed online and is scheduled through Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. However, the ballot counting is expected to finish early.

Members of the public may also observe the process in person, as long as they follow state and local health requirements.

“All observers attending the recount will be required to wear face coverings as mandated by the California Department of Public Health and the OC Health Care Agency,” said the county registrar in a statement.

Lyons was required to request the recount within five days after the election was officially certified on Nov. 25. She will pay for the entire process, which is expected to cost around $4,000.

A human resources executive in the retail and service industries, Lyons was first elected to the school board in 2008 and has lived in the City of Brea for 22 years. She has also served on the PTA Executive Board, and all of her five children have attended Brea Olinda Unified schools.

Barnes is a biomedical engineer who graduated from Brea Olinda High School in 2012. She is one of the youngest candidates to run for the local school board.

There are nine schools in the Brea Olinda Unified School District, which in addition to the City of Brea also covers parts of Fullerton, Yorba Linda, and La Habra.

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