Howard school board race unchanged as absentee ballots are tallied

Jess Nocera
Contact ReporterHoward County Times

With the first wave of absentee ballots from last week’s election counted, the outcome of the Howard school board race is unchanged.

Vicky Cutroneo, Chao Wu, Jen Mallo and Sabina Taj were the winners and will fill four open seats in less than a month.

Bob Glascock, the fifth-place candidate who trails Taj by nearly 5,000 votes, said he “is not making a concession statement at this time.”

Glascock wants to “let the process unfold the way it’s supposed to,” including the counts of provisional and absentee ballots, which will wrap up Friday.

Taj had received 2,760 votes from absentee and provisional ballots to Glascock’s 2,324 as of Thursday afternoon, according to unofficial election results.

Taj’s leads Glascock 51,686 to 46,826 votes, according to unofficial election results.

More than 8,500 absentee ballots were requested and 6,660 ballots had been returned by Thursday, according to Guy Mickley, director of the county’s board of elections.

The deadline for receiving absentee ballots, which must have been postmarked by Nov. 6, is 10 a.m. Friday.

The county has received 2,053 total provisional ballots, leading up to the last canvass Friday. Of the 2,053 ballots, 1,407 were accepted in full, 388 were partly accepted and 201 were rejected, Mickley said.

With none of the incumbents, whose terms are expiring, seeking re-election, four seats were open for the non-partisan school board.

Eight candidates cleared the primary and were joined by one write-in candidate.

Elected at large, the school board has seven members with an additional seat for a student member.

The 2018 school board election could be the last one to have all seven members elected at large, if proposed legislation passes in the upcoming Maryland General Assembly legislative session.

Del. Vanessa Atterbeary, who represents Howard County, drafted a bill to change the way school board members are elected.

Five of the seven school board candidates would run for a district seat, mirroring County Council districts, with the remaining two members elected at large.

“It’s about geographical diversity, to make sure there is fair representation on the school board and to make it easier and less burdensome for someone to run for school board,” Atterbeary said.

Howard voters would elect candidates for district seats beginning in the 2020 election and for the remaining two at-large seats in the 2022 election, according to the proposed legislation.

It would be up to the candidate to either run for a district or at large seat, Atterbeary said.

The legislative session begins Jan. 9.

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jnocera@baltsun.com

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