The clock in Nam Jack’s kitchen was about to strike twelve – just a few minutes short of turning an Election Tuesday into a Waiting Wednesday – when word finally arrived that San Marino’s voters had been quantified.
For Jack, a school board incumbent, the news was good. An early lead in the absentee ballot count had withstood the precinct tally and Jack had another four-year term.
What followed? The popping of champagne corks and the whooping and hollering of dozens of supporters?
Hardly. Try the soft ‘click’ sound that accompanies the closing of a laptop computer. The family was all going night-night.
“I am so excited to work for the children for another four years,” Jack said. “I feel that there are still things that we can improve. I am committed to making things the best I can during my second term in office. There are many things I would like to see happen.”
Jack said she preferred to remain at home while ballots were counted because she didn’t want to be with anyone if she lost.
“Some of my supporters wanted to have a party, but I didn’t know if I was going to be a victor,” she said. Newcomer Shelley Ryan finished second in the overall vote in her first race.
“It has been a long couple months,” Ryan told The Tribune yesterday. “I am very excited to be serving the community and doing good for the kids.”
Ryan and her husband, Kelly, attended a party until it became apparent at 11:00 p.m. that the vote was taking an inordinate amount of time.
“We went home,” Shelley Ryan said. “It was hard, because we waited three hours after the original set of election results were posted.”
Ryan allowed that she was “confident” heading into election.
“I thought I ran a clean campaign, I felt I was an acceptable candidate and I offered a unique perspective,” said Ryan.
Ryan thanked “all my supporters” for their efforts to get her elected on her first try.
C. Joseph Chang was elected for a fourth term on the San Marino Unified School District’s Governing Board – sixteen years, when done.
“I am still here,” Chang quipped. “Right now I have mixed emotions, but I am looking forward to working with the new board.”
Phil Chan told The Tribune he is “thankful for the many friendships I have made and the incredible support shown to me by my friends and family.”
Jack, Chang and Ryan join Lisa Link and Chris Norgaard, who each have two years left on their current term of service.
Spin it however one might, San Marino’s turnout – or turn-in – was downright embarrassing. Though a total was not announced, had every voter cast a ballot for just one candidate – known as bullet voting – less than half of San Marino’s 9,858 registered voters would have had a say in the election.
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