By Evan Ream
Sheryl Siegel has won a seat on the Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees. This news was announced after a Dec. 13 recount that was deemed necessary after an error was made while counting votes cast during the initial election on Nov. 6.
After the initial vote, it was found that candidate Siegel had fallen victim to an error which gave her less votes than she actually earned.
The error resulted in the winners being declared as Kathy Crosby and Carlos Sanchez. While Crosby will still retain her nomination on the board with a total of 2,718 votes, the miscalculation resulted in the recount for Sanchez and Siegel to determine who would receive the final nomination.
The error occurred in Barry County during the initial election as the results for the county were 2,444 votes in favor of Siegel. However, she was only given 244 votes after the first recount.
After the recount of nine precincts in Barry County concluded, it was determined that Siegel received a total of 2,408 votes while Sanchez received a total of 1,534 votes.
Following the conclusion of the recount, Siegel shared how she feels about her official nomination.
“I am honored to have won a seat on the GRCC board yet saddened that the process left Carlos, the college, and myself in limbo for so long,” stated Siegel in an email to the Collegiate. “I know that Carlos Sanchez is a deeply respected, beloved member of the board and only hope that I can live up to his highly regarded reputation.”
The Collegiate also reached out to Sanchez for comment on the recount and the final results. Sanchez stated his disappointment in the handling of the election but is grateful for his time served on GRCC’s Board of Trustees.
“While disappointed from the results of the recount in Barry County, I congratulate Ms. Siegel on her election,” Sanchez stated. “I am more disappointed in the way the issue was handled by the Kent County Clerk. First by the grave mistakes and later on by the lack of communication.
“I still believe the residents in those three Allegan County precincts should have been able to vote. They were disenfranchised from the electoral process.
“I will continue supporting the Grand Rapids Community College as I have been doing for the past several years,” Sanchez continued. “Collaborating in the Latino Youth Conference and through my work at Ferris State University. I am thankful for all that I learned from the great staff at GRCC, from the support from all the board members and for Dr. Pink’s leadership.”
Editor’s note: This report was updated at 6:17 p.m. on Dec. 15 to include comments from Carlos Sanchez about the election and recount.
Editor-in-Chief Tatiana Diaz contributed to this report.