The Delaware County Board of Elections ruled that an automatic recount is necessary in the race for Berlin Township trustee.
That decision was made on Monday after the board certified the final results of the Nov. 7 election. The recount is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 28 at the Board of Elections.
Challenger Tom D’Amico edged incumbent Steve Flaherty by three votes, 629 to 626, in the general election.
“I’m just glad the final tally is in,” D’Amico said. “I’m not as concerned about the recount now because I think it’s been looked at enough. I’m excited, I feel bad for Steve for losing so close a race and I hope that he runs again for trustee.”
Board of Elections Director Karla Herron said if the margin of difference in the vote count fell within one-half of 1 percent that an automatic recount is mandated. Reading from the Ohio Revised Code, “The recount shall take place no later than 10-days after it is determined,” Herron said.
D’Amico attended the final canvass and waited on the on the edge of his seat while board staff tallied the final results.
“It’s like the final reveal isn’t it?” said board chairman Ed Helvey.
When the final results were handed to Helvey, he looked over at D’Amico, paused, and then said, “congratulations.”
On the night of the election, results showed D’Amico had won the seat from Flaherty by only one vote.
Herron said there were 22 outstanding ballots in the Berlin Township trustee race that were received after election night that had not been counted.
While waiting for the results, board member Shawn Stevens asked D’Amico what he thought his gut was telling him.
“My gut says, did you get my daughter’s absentee ballot yet?” D’Amico said. “She assured me that I was the only vote on her ballot, but she is at Kent State and she says the mail up there is horrible.”
Board officials told D’Amico there were three missing and that his daughter’s was one of the three.
The day after the election Flaherty said his loss was heartbreaking, but that the people of the township have spoken and he didn’t plan to contest the vote.
“I truly enjoyed representing the township in this unique period of growth,” he said. “Berlin had three good, qualified candidates running and the residents recognized that. I’m proud of what we as a board accomplished in the last four years and look forward to Berlin’s bright future.”
Following are the final results for the Berlin Township trustee election: Ken O’Brien, 783 votes; Tom D’Amico, 629 votes; and Steve Flaherty, 626 votes. The Board of Elections reported that 2,038 Berlin Township residents voted in the race.
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.