After conducting an automatic recount of the votes in the Nov. 5 general election Monday, the Delaware County Board of Elections certified Jon Bennehoof as the winner in the race for a seat on Powell City Council.
“The votes remained the same,” Board of Elections Director Karla Herron.
After conducting the final canvas of the Nov. 5 general election and certifying the final results Friday, Nov. 22, the Delaware County Board of Elections declared an automatic recount for the Powell City Council race. At that time, there was only a 10 vote difference between Bennehoof, who received 1,198 (16.20%) of the total votes, and Nicole Scott, who received 1,188 (16.06%) of the total votes cast in the race.
“For the city of Powell, there are 11 precincts,” said Deputy Director Anthony Saadey Monday. “A total of 3,024 ballots were cast in the city, 5% of that would be 152 ballots”
Herron said the rules state if there is more than one polling location, “You can’t just recount one location.”
“With any combination, you as the board will draw two out of the four locations for us to hand count,” she said. “Once you draw the two locations, our counting teams are going to get started.”
With that, Saadey held out a sombrero containing the names of the four Powell precincts written on individual slips of paper for Chairman Ed Helvey to draw two from. He pulled the polling locations of Powell United Methodist Church, where 790 ballots were cast, and the Gateway Community Church, where 1,055 ballots were cast.
“We start with establishing the vote total for each of the candidates, counting a minimum of 152 ballots,” Herron said.
Herron added that seven counting teams, composed of one Republican counter and one Democratic counter, had been established. She said both members of the recount team must look at each of the ballots and hand tally each vote in the race.
“What they are going to do is hand count up to the 5%,” she said. “We’ll feed in those ballots after they are hand-counted into the scanner and match those totals. Once they match, we’ll re-read the rest of the ballots for the two locations.
“Then we’ll read the ballots (electronically) again, and then match the hand (count) to the machine (count). If they match, we’ll go ahead and hand-feed the rest of the ballots in and then total them for the two locations.”
Saadey said since the county is now a paper county, the board can’t read into the record the totals from election night.
“We have to scan in 100% of all the ballots for the Powell race,” he said.
Nicole Scott was sworn in as an official observer by Herron.
“You can observe any part of the process, but I’ll direct you to who you can ask questions because you can’t direct them to the counting teams,” she told Scott.
The BOE had reported that it was to recount Delaware city’s Third Ward race involving newcomer Cory Hoffman and incumbent George McNab. Herron said that after a recalculation of the race, there was no need for a recount in the race won by Hoffman.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.