Final count does not alter close races

LISBON – None of the results from the May 7 primary election changed, nor did any of the several close ballot-issue outcomes qualify for an automatic recount.

That was the result of Thursday’s meeting of the Columbiana County Board of Elections to certify election results. The certification followed a recount that included ballots cast election day, plus the 13 provisional ballots and one absentee ballot added to the mix.

Provisional ballots are those cast election day but go uncounted because of questions about voter registration or eligibility. Director Adam Booth said the staff determined 13 of the 14 provisional ballots were valid and should be counted. The other was dismissed because the person voted in the wrong precinct.

There was also one absentee ballot received after the election, but it was postmarked by May 7 and arrived in the mail during the allowed time frame.

There were two ballot issues where the margin was close enough that the additional ballots could have made a difference. One was the Salineville police levy, which was defeated 64-60 on election day. None of the 14 additional ballots were from Salineville, so that outcome remained unchanged.

The same thing happened with a Center Township fire levy that failed by three votes on election night – 109-106. The margin remained unchanged following the inclusion of the additional ballots.

The other close outcome was in the Knox Township road levy, which won by one vote, 89-88, on election day. The margin of victory widened to two votes following the official count, with the levy passing 90-88.

The margin of defeat requiring an automatic recount is a half-percent. “None of them are eligible for an automatic recount,” Booth said.

In other news, Booth reported the staff is still processing the candidacy petitions by people who filed to run as independent candidates in the November election. The board has until July 15 to approve or reject the petitions, and Booth expects they will be able to do so at their June meeting.