Close races trigger 6 recounts

By Mike Sever Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Gerry Lewis, director of the elections board, said automatic recounts are triggered when vote totals that decide an election are less than half of one percent.

Tuesday's preliminary results indicated automatic recounts in Deerfield, Freedom and Nelson townships, the Aurora and Rootstown boards of education, and the Portage County Educational Service Center, Lewis said.

Incumbent John D. Girscht was edged out of his seat by three votes in Deerfield when newcomer David L. Pettigrew and incumbent Chuck Earnest got the two winning slots.

In Freedom, incumbent Adrian Stefanish finished out of the running by only six votes behind former trustee Tom Lawson, followed by incumbent J.J. Leet.

In Nelson, James M. Turos got 648 votes, followed by former trustee C.L. Wells with 320. Incumbents Donald L. Jagers and James Viscan finished out of the running with 318 and 305 votes respectively.

Only a dozen votes separated the winner and loser in the Aurora school board race between Terri Hauenstein and Reed Fuller.

And the Rootstown school board race was even closer, with only eight votes between winner Jay Kelsey and losing incumbent Rosalie Paradise.

Only three votes made the difference between Dale Van Voorhis winning a seat and Michael Staschak losing one on the governing board of the Portage County Educational Service Center.

Some of those races could be decided after walk-in votes and out-of-country votes are counted and included in the official certified election results, Lewis said. The board has about 45 ballots from people who recently moved to Portage but were still registered to vote in other Ohio counties, Lewis said.

Absentee ballots filed early with the election board, and write-in ballots from election day were included in the preliminary vote tallies.

The board plans to certify the official election results Nov. 18

"Then we'll set a date within a week or so for the automatic recounts," Lewis said.

People then will have five days from the official certification until 4:30 p.m. Nov. 24 to request recounts through the board of elections. Recounts cost $10 per precinct.

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