Voters spoke on Nov. 5 by casting their ballots, but for two candidates and one city issue, it's not over til it's over. A close trustee race and a term limits issue are still not certain.
In the township, Brian Governor won the first trustees seat with the unofficial count of 1,078 votes. The second seat presently has Marie Cartwright in the lead with 827 votes to Dave Morrison's 816, a difference of 11 votes. With 15 provisional ballots in the township, there is a possibility of going either way.
Mahoning County Board of Elections Director Joyce Kale-Pesta said traditionally, provisional ballots are split and are rarely one-sided, but the possibility does exist when the vote is this close. She said the first step is a recount.
"Whenever the total vote is within five-tenths of one percent, it is automatically recounted," she said.
Kale-Pesta said provisional votes are from Ohio residents who have changed their address since they last voted. They can either cast their vote at the Board of Elections or go to the polls and cast a provisional ballot.
The provisional ballots are held 10 days. That time period gives the Board of Elections time to investigate the voter's prior and present address to ensure they are valid. At the end of the 10 days, the legal provisional ballots are counted.
She said a recount can also be done by a candidate. That would cost $10 per precinct if they want to challenge the count.
In the city of Canfield, the issue of term limits for boards, committees and commissions could also have a different outcome. The vote for the charter amendment had it pass by 1,210 to 1,207. There are 17 provisional ballots in the city that could make the final outcome change course. There is also a possibility of a tie, which would bring into play Ohio's laws on tie-breakers.
"If there is a tie in any Ohio election, it is broken with the flip of a coin," Kale-Pesta said. "In Mahoning County, we have had several trustee races end in a tie and we had to flip a coin to determine the winner."
She said the coin toss is on the Ohio books, but to do it requires a lot of red tape and verification. Eventually, though, it all comes down to heads or tails.
Another close race for Canfield was the 5.9 mill school levy. Unofficially, it passed 2,897 to 2,851, or by 46 votes. Between the township and the city, the provisional ballots number 32 which would not be enough to change that outcome.
Kale-Pesta said the official count on the entire ballot should be known by Nov. 28.