Local election turnout solid


Union County election officials are pleased with Tuesday’s elections.
“I don’t think we had any major issues, just normal things,” said Tina LaRoche, director of the Union County Board of Elections.
LaRoche said she has not heard any complaints from voters or poll workers. She said there were a couple polling locations that “came back a little slow,” and that delayed some reporting of results. However, all the precincts were tallied before 11 p.m.
According to the board of elections, 10,696 ballots, representing 29 percent of registered voters, were cast in Union County.
“For an off year, I think the participation was higher than I expected,” LaRoche said.
She said, as is often the case, some areas had better turnout than others.
“We had some areas that said they were steady and that were pleased because turnout seemed good,” LaRoche said. “I haven’t had a chance to really look at it, but I would guess that was maybe in the areas where you had contested races, maybe in Marysville or Jerome Township. And then you had other areas that said they were slow.”
She said early, in-person voting was also strong, as 1,892 voters cast their votes in person before Election Day.
“I think that was pretty good,” LaRoche said. “I was pleasantly surprised with the in-person absentee voting.”
All results are unofficial until the board of election certifies them. The board will meet Nov. 20. The board staff will need to examine the 119 total provisional ballots cast in the county. Those ruled to be valid will be added to the vote count.
LaRoche said there are also outstanding absentee ballots. She said absentee ballots postmarked on Nov. 6 or before are valid.
Currently, it looks like provisional and absentee ballots could impact only one local election.
According to unofficial results from the Union County Board of Elections, Henk Berbee received 1,650 votes and Donald Boerger received 1,632 votes for at-large positions on the Marysville City Council. Berbee finished third in council voting, Boerger fourth.
If the results stand, Berbee would have a seat on council and Boerger would not.
LaRoche said there are 72 provisional ballots and nine absentee ballots from potential Marysville voters that could affect the council race outcome.
Board of elections officials said there could be an automatic recount, based on how close the results are unofficially.
“It depends on the provisional ballots,” said Theresa Hook with the Union County Board of Elections.
Election directives indicate a recount is to be conducted if the results are within a half a percent. As it stands now, Berbee has earned 22.02 percent of the vote and Boerger has 21.78 percent.
Election officials said the Ohio Revised Code sets a timeline for recalls if a candidate requests it, but does not offer guidance for automatic recalls.
“I am sure we will have it done in a timely manner,” LaRoche said.
Election officials said the county is “fortunate” to have the army of poll workers that make Election Day a success.
“I just wanted to say how awesome our poll workers are, for caring, for coming in and doing what they do,” LaRoche said. “They work so hard.”
She said her staff was tired Wednesday after a long day Tuesday. She said she spent the day getting back to the office’s day-to-day operations, but the May primary election is coming sooner than people think.
“We are starting to think about it already,” LaRoche said.


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