It appears Roseville residents will have to wait until just before Thanksgiving Day to find out who will sit on the Roseville Joint Union High School District board.
Preliminary results show less than one percentage point separating the top two contenders, incumbents Jan Pinney and Paige Stauss, as well as third and fourth place candidates, challenger Rene Aguilera and incumbent Gerry Genzlinger.
“If there are roughly 20 percent of the votes that haven’t been counted yet and they are less than one percent apart, then it's definitely too early to make a call,” said Kim Nalder, with Sacramento State University's Project for an Informed Electorate. “So they should all be nervous still.”
Placer County Office of Elections staff are counting 46,000 remaining ballots—up to 20,000 of which were cast by Roseville residents, according to Ryan Ronco, assistant registrar of voters. Official results are expected by Nov. 21.
While at least two incumbents will still sit on the board, with such tight numbers, Nalder said it is still unclear who will be re-elected.
A mere 1.2 percent spread separates all four candidates. They are vying for three open seats of the five-member board. Pinney and Stauss are nearly tied in the lead with 25.50 and 25.47 respectively. Aguilera has 24.33 percent of the vote followed by Genzlinger with 24.29 percent.
"That's microscopic," said Nalder, a government professor. "They are so close together. That's amazing."
Of the 46,000 Placer County votes still being counted, 40,000 are vote-by-mail ballots. The other 6,000 are provisional ballots, Ronco said.
Voters cast 82,466 high school board votes on Election Day.
Ronco would not speculate on the official outcome of the high school board race. However, he said it is still mathematically possible for many of "those place settings" to change signficantly.
Nalder added the school board race results are difficult to predict because unlike statewide or national races, they are usually non-partisan.
"There is no reason to believe that the outstanding votes will be different than the standing votes in any particular way," she said.
Looking for more school news? Check our Back-to-School Guide for 2012.