Coin flip could decide tied Ohio village mayoral election

State News

CHESAPEAKE, Ohio (CNN) — Many may be happy that this year’s election is over, but one village in Ohio still doesn’t know who their next mayor will be.

The often-used political line, “It’s not the result we had hoped for,” may be an understatement for voters in Chesapeake, a small village located along the Ohio River in southern Ohio.

It’s been three days since the election, and Chesapeake still doesn’t know who the next mayor will be.

Seventy-seven votes each. The question on everyone’s mind is what’s next? Eyes are now on the Lawrence County Board of Elections.

Board officials said more absentee ballots could come in over the next few days. Those ballots would immediately be counted.

The board will then vote to certify the election on Nov. 16.

“There are four provisional ballots that potentially can be counted in this race,” said J.T. Holt of the Lawrence County Board of Elections.

If there is still a tie after any missing absentee and provisional ballots are counted, a manual recount will take place. Board officials said that could take a few days.

If the result of the recount is still a tie, the next mayor of Chesapeake will be decided by the flip of a coin.

When asked how likely it is for the tie to hold, Holt said it was “extremely, extremely unlikely.”

“Even with a small number, a relatively small number of ballots cast in, in a village mayor’s race here in Chesapeake, it’s extremely unlikely for these results to occur.”

Mayoral candidate Kim Olkaker said, “I figured it would be close, but we’ll have to wait and see. I never expected it would come down to a coin toss.

Incumbent Mayor Tommy Templeton did not return calls for comment.

Election officials said the last time a coin toss decided an election in Lawrence County was in November of 2007 for Symmes Township fiscal officer. The race between Patty Belville and Linda Carpenter, with Belville winning the coin toss.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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