GALION — There is a tight race for the 1st Ward seat on Galion City Council and it appears that outstanding provisional and absentee ballots could determine the final outcome. The Crawford County Board of Elections released the unofficial final results for the general election on Tuesday night.
Voters in Galion’s 1st Ward gave challenger Chad T. Miller a razor-thin lead over incumbent Kenneth E. Bodkins, Sr., in Tuesday’s voting. Miller leads that race by just three votes, 143 to 140.
In relation to the 1st Ward city council race, Board of Elections Director Ruth Leuthold said Wednesday that there are still seven “possible provisional ballots” and two “post-absentee” ballots which were postmarked Monday, Nov. 1 and received at the BOE office on Wednesday. The post-absentee ballots will be added at the official count, Leuthold said. She noted that any other absentee ballots that come in by mail would have to have a postmark of Monday, Nov. 1 in order to be included in the official canvass.
At-large city council members Thomas G. Fellner and Kara Ault were each elected to another term Tuesday. Fellner, who has served on city council for 11 years, received 709 votes. Ault, who was appointed to city council in December 2020 to fill a vacancy created by a resignation, collected 640 votes.
They will be joined as at-large members of city council by Paula E. Durbin, who is a former city treasurer. She received 398 votes to win the third at-large council seat. Write-in candidate Jennifer Kuns finished fourth with 327 votes.
Law Director Thomas N. Palmer retained his position after collecting 66.29% of the votes cast. Challenger E. Roberta Wade received 33.71% of the votes. The final vote tally was 647 for Palmer and 329 for Wade.
Palmer will begin his third term as law director in January 2022. He was first elected to the office in 2013.
Those were the only contested races in the City of Galion.
Carrie A. Zeger is the new 4th Ward city council representative after she was unopposed in the general election. City council members Aaron Ivy, 2nd Ward, and Mike Richart, 3rd Ward, each ran without opposition.
Mayor Tom O’Leary and City Council President Carl W. Watt also ran unopposed.
Former Galion Police Chief Brian C. Saterfield is Galion’s new auditor after he, too, ran with no opposition in the general election.
Galion City Schools Board of Education members Michael E. Mateer and Melissa J. Miller were the only two candidates to file petitions to run for school board, which had two seats available on the ballot. No candidate filed to run for a vacant seat on the school board whose term expires on Dec. 31, 2023.
The board of elections can begin the official canvass for the Nov. 2 election on Nov. 13. The canvass must be completed and certified by Nov. 23.
Voter turnout in Crawford County was 21.4%, according to the board of elections. Figures released Tuesday evening show that 5,841 of the county’s 27,292 registered voters cast ballots in the general election.