The winner of a school board election didn't campaign, attend forums or even go to any school board meetings before the vote — because he was in jail.

Randy Logan Hale won 831 votes in Tuesday's election, securing one of three open seats on the Romoland School District Board in a community about 70 miles north of San Diego.

"This is wild, he'll be glad," said his wife, Penny.

Hale, 40, was returned to prison in September for violating his parole on 1998 convictions for spousal abuse and drug possession, the California Institution for Men in Chino said, and is due to be released Feb. 15. He declared his candidacy in August.

His wife and a district trustee confirmed he was imprisoned.

The election of an inmate to the school board is a conundrum for the district, and Superintendent Roland Skumawitz said he's consulting lawyers to figure out how to handle the situation.

Shaun Bowler, a political science professor at the University of California, Riverside, said Hale may have gotten votes because he was at the top of the ballot.