Finally, all the votes have been counted.
It took two weeks after the May 18 Salem-Keizer school board election day for this to happen, since that's how long voters have to "cure" ballots with signature problems: a missing signature or a signature that doesn't match the one on file.
Pleasingly, each of the four progressive candidates ended up winning -- an amazing accomplishment.
Amazing, because Oregon Right to Life and its associated PACs (political action committees) went all out this time around, as they have in previous school board elections, in support of a conservative slate of candidates.
Yet Ashley Carson Cottingham has a 73 vote lead over Linda Farrington. Karina Guzman Ortiz has a 285 vote lead over Mike Slagle. Ovaldo Avila and Maria Cecelia Hinojos Pressey had substantial leads over their opponents on election night, so their victories weren't in question.
...State law requires an automatic recount when the number of votes separating two candidates is less than 0.2% of the votes cast for both. The margin in the race was 0.17%.
...Marion County Clerk Bill Burgess said a recount will take place after election results are certified, which will happen by Monday, June 7. He expected the recount would take one or two days.
While it’s always possible a recount could change the result in the race, Burgess said such events are rare.
Before the election, I was talking with a group of fellow progressives about the school board races. "They won't win them all," said a knowledgeable observer of Salem's political scene, speaking of the four progressive candidates.
Yet it's looking like they did win them all.
This is almost as surprising as the two Georgia Democrats who unexpectedly pulled out wins in their run-off races in early January of this year, providing Democrats with a 50-50 tie in the Senate with Vice-President Harris being the 51st vote when needed.
With the four Salem-Keizer school board victories (assuming Cottingham survives the recount), progressives will end the nightmare of the current conservative school board majority being at endless war with both students and the Superintendent.
Such wouldn't have happened without a heck of a lot of work put in by those supporting the progressive candidates' campaigns.
Credit also goes to the Statesman Journal and Salem Reporter for publishing detailed profiles of each school board candidate, along with their positions on key issues. When voters are well-informed, they're more likely to make wise choices when they fill out their ballot.