Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

May primary vote still too close to call

By Amy Kronenberger
ST. MARYS - The race for the third open city council seat is still too close to call.
Auglaize County Board of Elections Director Carolyn Campbell on Wednesday announced final results of the May primary election after counting 51 provisional ballots. Results showed at-large council candidate Dan Uhlenhake with 590 votes, four more than in the unofficial count. Candidate Russ Bailey received 583 votes, three more than the unofficial count.
Three other candidates ran for the three open at-large seats: incumbent Bob Fitzgerald received the highest number of votes with 737, Todd Fleagle received 620 and incumbent Jim Harris received the lowest total votes with 433.
Campbell said the state uses a formula to determine when a recount is necessary. In a situation with five candidates running for three open seats, the state requires a recount if the difference of the number of votes between the third and fourth vote-getters is fewer than one-half of 1 percent of the total number of votes for candidates three, four and five.
In St. Marys, one-half of 1 percent of the bottom three candidates' total votes was 8.03. Because Uhlenhake defeated Bailey only by seven votes, the county must do a recount.
Campbell said the county has had a few recounts over the years, the most recent being for a race in Spencerville. During federal elections, the state requires automatic recounts of certain contests, even if they aren't close, she said.
Bailey said he was happy the election was so close, since it was his first time running. He also was glad so many people turned out to vote, but he has already accepted his defeat.
"I've already conceded that (Uhlenhake) has won," he said. "So I'd like to congratulate him."
Uhlenhake said this is what happens when so many good candidates run.
"I know if I were Russ, I'd want a recount, so I'll let the chips fall where they may," he said. "I'll be glad when we do have this all settled ... I'm still looking forward to serving the city and moving the city forward."
Campbell will hold the recount at 9:30 a.m. May 30 in the board office at the administrative building in Wapakoneta. All other Auglaize County election results were unaffected by the final tally.
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