School voter fraud alleged

SOUTH DAYTON – It is alleged that three non-residents voted in Pine Valley’s annual school budget vote last month, which may have effected the outcome of this year’s elections.

“The district became aware of limited alleged irregularities in the annual vote and election. The district investigated and determined three non-residents voted in the election,” Pine Valley Board of Education President Janie Waag said at a recent board meeting.

Eligible voters must be at least 18 years old and a district resident for at least 30 days prior to the vote. According to District Clerk Debbie Hooker, the ineligible voters signed in to vote and did provide a legitimate address. However, the provided addresses were outside the district boundaries, but the matter was undetected by election day workers.

The issue was brought to the school district’s attention following the vote in regard to the discrepancy and was subsequently turned over to legal council. Since Board of Education candidate Patricia Krenzer received 220 votes and elected to a two-year term and Angelo Graziano received 222 votes and will serve a three-year term, Krenzer was given the option by Hooker to contest the vote, which she declined. Hooker said if Krenzer wanted to contest the vote, a re-vote would have to take place.

“(A re-vote) would be the entire budget and propositions, not just the board candidates,” Hooker explained.

While the identities of the voters were not released, the board of education has discussed with legal counsel disciplinary action against the three individuals. There was no further comment on what those disciplinary actions would be.

At this year’s school board race, eight candidates sought five open seats. Along with Krenzer and Graziano, others who won included Rex Butcher with 359 votes, Stephen Raiport with 290 votes and Montgomery Sticek with 271 votes. All three won three-year terms. Krenzer was the only incumbent to win after being appointed to fill a vacancy on the board in January. The three other incumbents – Jeffrey Chase, Matthew Waag and Michael Pease – lost with 159, 153 and 146 votes respectively.

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