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Who gets second place in a tight Omaha school board race could come down to who best got their family to the polls.
When vote-counting ended Tuesday night, William Forsee and Meg Cordes were tied for second place with 287 votes each in Subdistrict 8, which covers parts of South Omaha and Bellevue.
The top two vote getters advance to the May 14 general election.
In such a competitive race with low turnout, every vote really counted. And both candidates were either aided — or slightly hurt — by their family's showing.
Forsee's son William called to apologize to his dad Wednesday morning.
William, who is in the Army and stationed in Arlington, Va., didn't get an absentee ballot in time to vote for his dad.
If his dad advances, his son said, he promised to get an absentee ballot in time for the general election.
Cordes, who grew up in South Omaha, said she has about 20 family members who could have voted for her. She's not sure how many did, though.
She said she also had a strong showing because of her other area connections, such as with Omaha schools that her children have attended.
Wednesday, both candidates were still in Election Day mode because of the tie.
“Just waiting to see,” Cordes said.
“Still confused,” Forsee said.
Lacey Merica, a claims adjuster, won the primary with 330 votes.
Who will advance with her to the general election could be decided by April 12 when election results become official.
Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps said his office still has about 900 to 1,000 early ballots countywide to count.
Those ballots arrived either late Monday afternoon or Tuesday. His office plans to count them and post updated unofficial results Friday.
Countywide, they have about 300 provisional ballots to examine as well.
Some of those could be included in Friday's count, but some may not be examined until next week.
“The numbers can still move,” Phipps said.
Sarpy County Election Commissioner Wayne Bena said his office is finished tallying votes and plans to certify them Monday.
Depending on the additional Douglas County ballots, the Subdistrict 8 race may require a recount.
State law requires a recount when the difference is 1 percent or less of the top vote-getter's total tally.
If the second-place race is still tied after a recount, officials would likely write both of the candidates' names on five sheets of paper each and toss them into a hat. Whoever's name is pulled out of the hat advances.
Phipps said his office will need to have the one-page general election ballots ready to print on April 29.
Both tied candidates, Forsee and Cordes, said they plan to wait for the official results before continuing their campaigns.
Forsee said he pulled up some signs Tuesday night to use if he advances. But he doesn't want to ask his friends for additional money yet in case he finishes third.
“I'm just sort of sitting back,” he said, “waiting for them to finish the vote count.”
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