It’s a tie — for now.
The Buckeye Valley School District’s Nov. 3 bond issue vote has ended in a tie, with an identical 3,312 votes cast for and against the $31.25 million issue, according to information provided by the Delaware County Board of Elections on Friday.
A recount is on the horizon to determine the final results.
The Board of Elections wrapped up its official canvass on Friday, which included results of the election from Marion, Morrow and Union counties. The vote will be certified Nov. 24. On election night, the unofficial tally showed the bond issue had failed by 19 votes.
“I’m thankful we made up the 19 votes, but we had hoped for a couple of three more, certainly,” said Andrew Miller, superintendent of Buckeye Valley Local Schools. “I’m glad that the results came back in a more positive way and wished it would’ve pushed us over the edge and got the win, but I’m hopeful — upon the recount — that we’ll come up with more for than against.”
The official count for both Delaware and Morrow counties changed from the unofficial tally on Nov. 3. Official results from Delaware County showed 3,130 votes in favor of the bond issue and 3,021 against it. In Morrow County, the final tally was 279 votes against and 181 votes for the issue.
The election night figures for Delaware County resulted in 3,060 votes for the issue and 2,969 against. In Morrow County, the unofficial vote saw 276 against the issue and 177 in favor of it.
There was no change in the vote count for either Marion (7-1 against) or Union (5-0 against).
Board of Elections Deputy Director Karla Herron said the tentative date for the recount in Delaware County is Dec. 1. The other three counties will determine their own recount dates.
Board of Elections Chairman Steve Cuckler noted that if the recount also ends in a tie, that means the issue will fail since a majority vote for it is needed for passage. He said a simple majority — one vote — is needed to determine the outcome of the election.
While Buckeye Valley Local supporters wait for the recount, plans are in motion to promote the bond issue that will be placed on the March 2016 ballot should the issue fail. Members of the Excellence for Buckeye Valley committee told the board of education this week that more than 100 volunteers have already been mobilized to go door to door ahead of the spring primary election to encourage residents to support the issue. Miller said he and the board of education were encouraged by that news.
“My hope would be that coming back (to the voters) this close should it not pass would inspire people to get involved in that group,” he said. “It was very uplifting to see that many people who want to be a part of getting this thing passed. It leads me to believe that this is the right solution for the issue and the community.
“When your (school district) is 206 square miles, with so many different townships and villages, coming up with something that’s perfect for everybody is pretty unrealistic,” he added. “But, certainly, looking at this election and how close we are — and might possibly get the win — this appears to be an issue that there’s support for, as opposed to the last couple that we went out there with.”
The $31.25 million bond issue would provide funding for the construction of two new elementary school buildings located in Ashley and near Bellpoint in Concord Township.
Andrew Carter can be reached at 740-413-0902 and on Twitter @AndrewCarterDG.