Carroll County News

Incumbents Sivigny, Herbert well ahead in Carroll County school board race

The incumbents were all but certain to secure four more years on the Carroll County Board of Education based on results from early voting, mail-in and Election Day ballots that had been counted by 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Donna Sivigny, the current school board president, was the top vote-getter.

“Once again I am humbled and honored to get the results of Carroll residents,” she said in a phone interview.

Two seats on the five-member board are at stake, so the two candidates with the highest number of votes will win the nonpartisan race.

Sivigny had accumulated 38,504 votes with results from all Election Day voting centers having been counted. Fellow incumbent Marsha Herbert had 36,548 while former board member Virginia Harrison had 28,393 and first-time candidate Stephanie Brooks had 24,382.

During the 2020 general election, 36,331 Carroll voters came out for early voting and 39,051 requested mail-in ballots. The polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Katherine Berry, Carroll’s election director,

told The Times all the results for the eight-day early voting period had been tallied and that about 13,000 mail-in ballots still needed to be counted.

“We are pulling in results as we speak,” she said at around 9:30 p.m.

Provisional ballots and ballots delivered in drop-boxes will be counted on Friday, she said.

Sivigny spent most of her Tuesday at North Carroll Middle School where there were lines to vote on Election Day as early as 6:30 a.m. she said.

“It was a great opportunity to just connect with voters,” she said, noting that she expected to spend all night monitoring the results, if her body allowed it.

Herbert, who was elected to the board in 2016, taught in CCPS for over 41 years and has operated Country Hill Farm in Westminster for over 30 years.

“This campaign has been so strange,” Herbert said late Tuesday afternoon. She said she hasn’t been able to canvass like she used to, but her connections have been helpful.

She said her signs are everywhere and bus drivers, people from her horse farm and her family have been helping out on Election Day. She started at Westminster Senior Center before 6 a.m. and stayed there until 2 p.m. Then she headed to North Carroll Middle School.

By the time the first round of results were posted later on that night, Herbert said she was in her bed with her puppy.

“Four years ago, I did the same thing,” she said. “I was very worried.”

Harrison, who had received the most mail-in votes but was a distant third in ballots cast during the early voting period, said the results were not looking good.

Earlier, she said she has also been out all day, but could not tell how she was doing in the race.

“I had some people who told me they voted for me when they came out,” she said. “I’m really hoping it works out but we shall see.”

She spent her Tuesday at voting centers including Liberty High School, South Carroll Swim Club and Westminster High School and she enjoyed everyone she met.

“I was very pleased people knew who I was,” Harrison said, who was appointed by the governor to fill a vacated spot on the board in 2008 and went on to win two consecutive terms.

Brooks said she was doing well for a newcomer and the results were to be expected.

“Having over 16,000 votes says a lot for me,” she said based just on early voting and mail-in results.

She said it’s good to get her name out there regardless of the outcome.

“This is what you have to do ... you may not get it the first time, you may not get it the second time, but it’s what you do,” Brooks said about public service.

Brooks was unable to get out much to the polls Tuesday because her son had a “nice fat black eye,” an injury from school the day before. She stayed home with him most of the time during his day off and waiting on the preliminary results.

“There’s never a dull moment when you’re a mom,” she said, noting that a lot of people reached out to give support on Tuesday. She has on the Community Advisory Council and CCPS Security Advisory Council and joined the PTA of her child’s school back in 2016.


Kristen Griffith

Kristen Griffith

Kristen J. Griffith covered community news with a focus on education for the Carroll County Times and other Baltimore Sun Media titles from 2020 to 2021.