Although the final unofficial vote for the Bexley Board of Education showed voters opted to re-elect incumbents Marlee Snowdon and John Barno and add challenger Michelle Mineo to the panel on Nov. 7, there might be the possibility of an automatic recount.
According to a press release from the Franklin County Board of Elections distributed Nov. 9, races that could potentially be within the 0.5 percent margin to warrant an automatic recount after absentee ballots (received after Election Day) and provisional ballots that are verified are included in the official canvass include council races in Canal Winchester, Reynoldsburg and Urbancrest; and school board races in Bexley, Reynoldsburg, Groveport Madison and Hamilton Local school districts.
On Nov. 7, the board of elections conducted the unofficial canvass which constitutes the unofficial election night results. It includes all votes cast on Election Day and the 28 day period of early absentee voting. Election day provisional ballots and absentee ballots not received by election day (which must be postmarked Nov. 6 and received by the elections board no later than Nov. 17 to be counted) are included after verification. The board also examines provisional affirmations prior to the official canvass to verify any eligibility questions. Provisional voters have seven days to provide additional ID requirements that may have flagged them to vote a provisional ballot on Election Day.
The official canvass may begin Nov. 18 but must begin no later than Nov. 22. The board must certify the election no later than Nov. 28.
Bexley's field of candidates also included incumbent Alissha Mitchell and challengers April Walsh and Tracey Parsons.
With 100 percent of precincts reporting Nov. 7, unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Election showed Snowdon received 1,873 votes (21 percent), Mineo, 1,845 votes (20 percent); Barno, 1,530 votes (17 percent); Mitchell, 1,478 votes (16 percent); Walsh, 1,327 votes (15 percent); and Parsons, 960 votes (11 percent).
Snowdon, 49, an attorney, was reelected in 2013 to a second term on the board. She served as president for two years. She has a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Southern California and a law degree from the Pepperdine University College of Law. She and her husband have three children.
Snowdon said her experience was one factor that contributed to her reelection.
"I'm certainly appreciative for the votes. ... I had the most experience on the board," she said. "I spent a lot of my time working on becoming a better board member. I think that probably was one of the things that resonated with voters. I'm very involved in the community, the entire community, so people see me regularly and have an opportunity to discuss things with me, so that may have contributed to my success."
Barno, 48, an attorney, was elected to a four-year term in 2013. He holds a bachelor's degree in communications and political science from Heidelberg University and a law degree from the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. He and his wife have four daughters.
Barno said he looks forward to continuing to work on issues such as enhancing the district's communications with the community and updated the schools' strategic plan.
"To have won reelection is an honor," Barno said. "There's a lot of hard work. During the campaign, we talked a lot about special education. We're going full-bore working on that, especially."
Mineo, 48 is a speech therapist and yoga teacher. She holds a master's degree in speech pathology from Miami University. She and her husband have three children.
"By profession, I'm about communication," Mineo said. "Our campaign focused on listening to the community regarding the education of our children. I look forward to working with the board of education to make sure our concerns are their concerns."
Mitchell, 41, said she is proud of the accomplishments that she and her fellow board members have worked for since February 2015, when the board unanimously appointed her to fill the unexpired term of former board member Carol Fey. Mitchell was elected by voters in November 2015 to serve the final two years of Fey's term.
Mitchell works in property management and holds a bachelor's degree in business administration Ohio Dominican University. Once her time on the board draws to a close at the end of the year, she said she plans to spend more time with her husband and their five children and eventually look for ways to stay active with the school district.
Mitchell said she is especially proud of using her role as a board member to provide a voice for minorities and other students who may feel under-represented.
"The last three years, I've worked on providing a level of consciousness that wasn't overlooked, necessarily, but wasn't always there," she said. "I hope that (board members will) try to continue those discussions."