Beaver Local renewal still in win column after recount

LISBON -A renewal levy used to fund the Beaver Local school district will remain in place following a recount performed Thursday by the Columbiana County elections board.

The 5.3-mill school levy, which was up for renewal in the May 6 primary election, passed by four votes following the recount, 816-812.

The levy passed 813-810 on election night, but this excluded late-arriving absentee ballots and provisional ballots, which are votes that are set aside and remain uncounted until questions about the voter’s registration are resolved. Once this was done, those absentee and provisional ballots deemed acceptable were added to the mix and the official count was performed last week. The result is the levy still passed, this time 815-812.

The margin -50.09 percent to 49.91 percent -was small enough to trigger an automatic recount, however. Under the recount law, a precinct representing at least 5 percent of the

total vote must be counted by hand, and in this case that number was 81.

Elections board Director Adam Booth said the board randomly chose the Calcutta precinct, where a combined 148 votes were cast for and against the levy. During the hand count by board members they came across a ballot where the voter clearly filled in the oval space in favor of the levy, but it went uncounted by the ballot scanning machine because it was too light.

“On the hand count you could tell it was a vote” for the levy, he said, and the board accepted it as a ‘yes’ vote.

Attending the recount were Beaver Local Superintendent Kent Polen and school Treasurer Robert Barrett. The five-year levy generates $1.2 million annually.