Coin toss could decide Ohio village’s mayoral race

Local News

CHESAPEAKE, Ohio (WOWK) — Unofficial results from the Lawrence County Board of Elections show both incumbent Mayor Tommy Templeton and challenger Kim Oldaker received 77 votes.

Election officials say absentee ballots could still come in as late as Saturday, November 16, 2019. Those ballots would be counted as long as they were postmarked by November 4, 2019, the day before the general election.

The Board of Elections will vote to make the election results official on Saturday, November 16. That’s also when they’ll know whether the provisional ballots are valid.

“The big variable is there are 4 provisional ballots that potentially can be counted in this race,” said Board of Elections member JT Holt, adding that this result was extremely unlikely. “Even with a relatively small number of ballots cast a village mayor’s race here in Chesapeake, it’s extremely unlikely for these results to occur,” Holt said.

According to election officials, if the result is still a tie, or within one half of one percent, a manual recount will take place. That recount could take a couple of days.

“I didn’t know it would come down to a tie,” said Oldaker. “I figured it would be close.”

Although it is unlikely, election officials say there could be a difference between the unofficial results and the official election results. If there is still a tie after the recount, the next mayor of Chesapeake will be decided by a coin toss.

“It is what it is,” said Oldaker. “I’ve never done this before, but never expected it would come down to a coin toss,” Oldaker said about the possible scenario. If elected, Oldaker would become Chesapeake’s first female mayor.

WOWK 13 News reached out to Mayor Templeton for comment, but he did not return our calls.

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