December 22, 2014

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Board of Elections certifies LCCC levy a winner

Students, teachers, administrators and supporters met on Tuesday to wait for results regarding Issue 2 at Lorain County Community College.

Students, teachers, administrators and supporters met on Nov. 5 to wait for results regarding Issue 2 at Lorain County Community College. CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

SHEFFIELD TWP. — Lorain County Community College’s levy victory expanded when provisional and some absentee ballots were counted, but not enough to push the results out of the range of an automatic recount.

The Lorain County Board of Elections on Tuesday certified the results of the Nov. 5 election and those results show that 28,855 voters, or 50.2 percent, cast ballots in favor of the levy. Another 28,615 voters, or 49.8 percent voted against the levy.

Only 240 votes, or just over 0.3 percent, separate the two numbers. On Election Day, the levy was only passing by 72 votes.

An automatic recount is required by state law if the results are within 0.5 percent, but elections board Director Paul Adams said the results are unlikely to change significantly in such a way that would cause the levy to fail.

He said although some optical scan ballots prepared by voters might change, the vast majority of ballots are cast using electronic voting machines and the results don’t change on those machines.

Tracy Green, the college’s vice president for strategic and institutional development, said she was relieved and pleased by the results.

“We’re obviously delighted with the final results and the community support for Issue 2,” she said after the election was certified.

The 1.5-mill renewal levy with a 0.6-mill increase is expected to bring in $12 million annually for expanding faulty, technology and programming in the college’s University Partnership. It will be in effect for the next 10 years.

Green said she and other college officials believe low voter turnout of around 29 percent played a role in the election.

“It’s about as close as it gets,” she said. “But we feel the closeness is related to the low voter turnout.”

The recount will be held on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4, with the elections board meeting on the second day to review and approve the recount results.

It won’t be the only recount held in the county on those days.

Adams said boards of election in Ashland, Medina and Lorain counties will have to recount the results of the Black River Schools’ board race.

In the six-person race, Tim Clifford, who received 698, or 24 percent of the vote, will definitely fill one of the two seats that were up for election.

But only 10 votes separate the second-place finisher Timothy Simmons, who received 576 votes, or 19.8 percent, from Janet Eichel, who finished in third place with 566 votes, or 19.4 percent.

Bruce Goff, Patrick Boyle and Tom Brown, who were also in the races, aren’t statistically viable candidates in the recount.

Adams said that under recount rules, only the votes for Simmons and Eichel will be reviewed.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.