After conducting the final canvas of the Nov. 5 general election and certifying the final results Friday, the Delaware County Board of Elections declared automatic recounts for the Powell City Council race and the Delaware City Council Third Ward race.
The recounts are scheduled for Monday, Dec. 2, at 10 a.m. at the Delaware County Board of Elections Office located at 2079 U.S. 23 N., Delaware.
In Powell, city council member and Mayor Jon Bennehoof leads challenger Nicole Scott by 10 votes after counting the provisional and absentee ballots.
“We’ve reviewed how an automatic recount would come into play,” Board of Elections Director Karla Herron said. “We agree to what happens in the city of Powell is that three are to be elected (to council), so the top two vote-getters are the automatic winners in the election. Your third person to be elected is the third-highest vote-getter, that would be Jon Bennehoof with 1,198 votes (16.20%) and the next highest vote-getter is Nicole Scott with 1,188 votes (16.06%).”
According to Ed Helvey, if the final count is within one-half of 1% of the total votes cast, it triggers an automatic recount. He calculated that a margin of 20 votes or less would trigger an automatic recount for the Powell council race.
Herron pointed out that there is only a 10 vote difference between the candidates.
Scott attended the Friday meeting to watch the process first hand.
“It’s been a great journey along the way and continuing to vet through the process has definitely been beneficial,” she said. “It’s been a good experience to be able to see how the process works and at this point, we will wait and see on the Dec. 2.”
On Nov. 5, the unofficial results of the election showed Bennehoof receiving 1,176 votes, while Scott received 1,165 votes. After the official canvas of absentee and provisional ballots, both candidates received additional votes but neither of them received enough to avoid the recount.
In Delaware city’s Third Ward, Cory Hoffman received 464 (52.46%) votes, while George McNab received 424 (47.75%) of the 1,333 total votes cast.
With only a 40 vote difference, “it is a recount,” said Herron. “We have two recounts.”
On Nov. 5, the unofficial results showed Hoffman receiving just under 52% of the votes and defeating McNab by just 33 total votes.
Herron said the recounts needed to happen within 10 days of the board’s certification of the final canvas.
“In the interest of the parties, we have to give the candidates five days notice, and the recount has to be done within 10 days,” she said. “We’ll have to hand count the entire races. I don’t believe we’ll find totals changing, but we want to prove our results and be sure.”
“There were a total of 183 absentees that came in after election day that was added into the grand total, and a total of 266 provisional ballots were counted, bringing the grand total to 37,466 ballots cast for the November election,” said Deputy Director Anthony Saadey.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.