Recount upholds Idaho Falls trustee candidate’s one-vote win

IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls School District trustee candidate’s one-vote win was upheld during a recount Monday. 

Realtor Shay Ricks ousted incumbent Elizabeth Cogliati, who volunteers at a local nonprofit farm, by 359 votes to her 358. The recount showed the same results, precinct by precinct, as were recorded on election night. 

Shay Ricks, an incoming trustee on the Idaho Falls School Board.
Elizabeth Cogliati, a trustee on the Idaho Falls School Board.

“I was certainly nervous, but I’m glad that the numbers stayed the same,” said Ricks, who will assume his new post in January. “I’m very grateful to our election staff for their dedication to accuracy in our elections … I look forward to serving on the District 91 School Board. And thank you to (Cogliati) for her hard work and dedicated service over the past four years.”

Cogliati, who requested the recount, was disappointed with the results. But she wished Ricks “all the best” and said she was “really impressed with how the recount was handled.”

A screenshot of Monday’s recount results.

Cogliati said the recount took just over two hours, and involved a number of people, including:

  • Ricks and Cogliati
  • The Bonneville County elections clerk and election staff
  • Precinct judges
  • The state’s director of elections
  • The deputy secretary of state
  • The Bonneville County prosecutor
  • The Bonneville County sheriff
  • Members of the public
  • Members of the media

The process itself was “really, really involved,” Cogliati said. Here’s what it entailed: 

  • Officials ran accuracy tests to ensure the vote tabulation machines were working correctly.
  • A sample of 100 ballots, total, were then drawn from three precincts of Cogliati’s choice, and from absentee ballots. 
  • Election officials hand counted those ballots, and then ran them through the tabulation machine to ensure the counts matched. They did. 
  • Then all of the ballots were run through the tabulation machine to ensure they matched the election results, which they did. 
  • Randy Neal, the Bonneville County prosecutor, then announced that the election results were upheld. 
  • Ricks and Cogliati shook hands, talked with the attorneys, and provided media statements. 

“The elections office did a great job,” Cogliati said. 


Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro reports from her hometown of Pocatello. Prior to joining EdNews, she taught English at Century High and was a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. She has won state and regional journalism awards, and her work has appeared in newspapers throughout the West. Flandro has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and Spanish from the University of Montana, and a master’s degree in English from Idaho State University. You can email her at [email protected] or call or text her at (208) 317-4287.

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