Pickerington Times-Sun

Olshefski retains school board seat following recount of election ballots


The results of an automatic recount of votes cast in the Nov. 5 general election show Cathy Olshefski officially has retained her seat on the Pickerington Local School Distcrict Board of Education.

Olshefski, the current school board president, earned a four-vote victory over Clay Lopez according to results of a recount Thursday, Dec. 5, according to the Fairfield County Board of Elections.

Olshefski, 52, squeaked past fellow incumbent Lopez, 38, to retain her seat by a vote of 2,116 to 2,112.  

The recount, which was certified Dec. 5 by the Fairfield County Board of Elections, included a count of provisional and absentee ballots cast in both Fairfield and Franklin counties.

The recount was automatically invoked after initial certifications by both counties boards of election showed Olshefski had won by a 2,116 to 2,114 count.

The final, official four-vote margin was enough to elect Olshefski to her second term on the board.

Lopez will vacate a seat he’s held since being appointed to the board in 2008. He also was seeking his second full term on the board.

Neither candidate could be reached for comment Thursday, Dec. 5.

Olshefski joins fellow incumbent Lori Sanders, 52, and newcomer Vanessa Niekamp, 43, who were the top two vote getters, respectively, in a four-way race for three board seats.

Sanders is the longest-tenured member of the board, and on Nov. 5 won her fifth term.

Niekamp was elected to her first term in public office.

According to the Fairfield County Board of Elections final tally, Sanders received 2,609 votes and Niekamp received 2,317.