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UPDATE: Election certification changes Ben Loan school levy outcome

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Benjamin Logan School District supporters’ hopes that they had narrowly passed a levy took a heavy blow Wednesday as the Logan County Election Boards’ certified results show the race ended in a tie.

The 10-year, 4.6-mill additional tax levy was up by three votes according to unofficial results after the May 7 election, but after provisional ballots were counted the measure is now tied at 710-710, which means the levy fails. A mandatory recount, however, will be conducted May 30.

“While disappointed, obviously, we were also surprised by the extremely low voter turnout this spring,” Superintendent Lori Lytle, who had given a “quiet thumbs up” to the unofficial results, said Wednesday. “Ten percent of registered voters decided the fate for 100 percent of our school community.

“We anticipate returning to the ballot in November, but will need discussion and further direction from our board of education before that decision is made,” Ms. Lytle continued.

Wednesday’s tabulations also changed the final numbers of Quincy’s 2-mill, five-year additional levy for general construction, reconstruction, resurfacing and repair of streets, roads and bridges within the corporation limits, but not the outcome.

Similarly, Quincy’s 2-mill, five-year additional levy for street repairs ended in a tie. The race was also tied on election day and the additional two provisional votes yield no change from the anticipated result.

The measure was defeated in a 51-51 tie May 7, and went down 52-52 Wednesday.

The primary race for the Ward 2 city council seat could be decided by a coin toss if challenger Marcus St. Clair picks up one vote in a mandatory recount.

On election night, the incumbent councilwoman, Diane Hager had a four-vote 123-119 lead but the final results have closed that gap to just one vote, 123-122. With 245 ballots cast in the race, the slim margin qualifies for the recount.

If a contested race ends in a tie, a coin is tossed to determine the winner.

In other matters, the election board approved the purchase of new tabulation equipment at a cost of $4,174.68, to replace models purchased in 2006; and accepted a $710 grant for online pollworker training.

The board also approved charge backs for shares of election costs and submitted the report to the county auditor. Based on the number of voted ballots and prorated related election costs, the city of Bellefontaine was charged $1,454.79; Logan County Health District, $22,124.11; Ben Logan, $3,610.39; West Liberty-Salem Schools, $926.87; Stokes Township, $1,634.11; Quincy, $409.62; Upper Scioto Valley, $115.76; and Waynesfield-Goshen, $27.05.

In the days that followed the election, board officials rejected one absentee ballot for incomplete identification information and one provisional ballot because the voter had not registered at least 30 days prior.

Board officials also reported the only local issue on the Aug. 6 Special Election ballot is the West Liberty-Salem Schools request in conjunction with an Ohio School Facilities Commission project. Sidney City Schools also have an issue on the ballot that affects a handful of Logan County residents.

For that election, WL-Salem polling locations will be consolidated into one at Grace Chapel Church, West Liberty.

In an effort to cut costs, the board is looking at consolidating more polling locations across the county for the November election.

The next regular meeting is at 9 a.m. June 20.


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