BUCYRUS — The flip of a coin has determined the outcome of Galion City Council’s 1st Ward election.
Incumbent Kenneth E. Bodkins Sr. and challenger Chad T. Miller were tied with 145 votes each after the Crawford County Board of Elections conducted its official canvass of the Nov. 2 general election on Monday, prompting the need for the race to be determined via a tiebreaker. The coin flip fell in favor of Bodkins, who will retain his seat on city council as the 1st Ward representative.
Per the Ohio Revised Code Section 3505.33, ties are to be decided “by lot,” and according to the Ohio Election Official Manual, a coin flip is an acceptable form of tiebreaker.
Because the election finished in a tie, a mandatory recount will be conducted, per state law. The recount is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 22 at the Crawford County Board of Elections.
The unofficial results released on the evening of Nov. 2 saw Miller with a slight lead of 143 to 140 over Bodkins. After provisional ballots and absentee ballots were figured into the count, Miller picked up an additional two votes and Bodkins secured five more votes, which resulted in the tie.
A total of 45 provisional ballots and 16 post-absentee ballots were received at the Board of Elections and added to the final count for the Nov. 2 general election in the official canvass.
Two provisional ballots were rejected because the individuals who submitted them were not registered voters in Ohio. Two post-absentee ballots were rejected; one because the identification was incorrect and the other because no signature was on the ballot. Board of Elections officials attempted to contact the individuals who submitted those ballots, but neither responded.
One provisional ballot that had the individual’s incorrect date of birth on it was accepted because poll workers were able to verify the individual’s correct date of birth. The individual who submitted the ballot has health issues and was unable to fill out the ballot on his own, so poll workers assisted him and he signed it. The identification he submitted and his signature were verified by the poll workers.
To see complete official results from the Nov. 2 general election in Crawford County, go to the board of elections website www.crawfordcountyohioboe.gov.