With a close race for three Worthington City Council seats in the Nov. 5 general election, a recount might be in order after all votes are certified.
According to final unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Elections on Nov. 5, Bonnie Michael led the field of 13 candidates with 1,721 votes (11.98%); Peter Bucher received 1,601 votes (11.14%) and Doug Foust had 1,490 (10.37%).
But Doug Smith and Seth Kraut were right behind Foust, with 1,489 (10.36%) and 1,485 votes (10.33%), respectively.
Michael, Foust and Smith currently hold the three council seats up for election.
Recounts are mandatory in Ohio when the difference between a winning candidate and the candidate with the next highest number of certified votes is less than one-half of 1% of the total votes cast for that ballot question, according to guidelines from the Ohio Secretary of State's office.
The initial council election results appear to fall under that scenario – for now.
Aaron Sellers, a spokesman for the Franklin County Board of Elections, said a recount would not be completed until after Nov. 26. Boards of elections first must certify their results, which include provisional ballots, by that date.
"We've still got absentee ballots that are going to be counted," Sellers said.
Sellers said a recount also may be requested by a defeated candidate by filing a written application with the board of elections. The board of elections must notify the secretary of state's office to start the process.
He said any applications for a recount must provide a deposit of $60 per precinct.
Recounts, both automatic or mandatory, have to take place no later than 10 days after an application or the order is made by the secretary of state's office, Sellers said. Notice also has to be given at least five days prior to the persons who are impacted by the recount.
If the recount process is automatic and results of the recount will not impact the outcome, then it would be stopped, according to the secretary of state's office.
For more information about the recount process, go to ohiosos.gov/elections.
Michael said she is honored to continue serving Worthington residents on council.
"As a member of Worthington City Council for 24 years, including six years as president, I love Worthington," Michael said. "I demonstrate it in my commitment to meet face to face with Worthington residents. There is a unique and enduring bond that we in Worthington share to preserve the values and integrity, compassion and commitment to one another. I look forward to working with council members to have the opportunity to build on our unique history and success in the coming decade."
Bucher said he was ready to step into a council role.
"Now is the time for our community to take the ideas and energy that (were) displayed during this campaign to seek a better Worthington," Bucher said. "Thank you to everyone who volunteered, discussed the issues and voted to make our community better."
Foust said the Nov. 5 results seemed "fitting."
"It seems like a fitting outcome to what was a very extraordinary campaign time," he said. "It's anyone's guess what the outcome will prove to be, and it has surely validated the time-honored notion that 'every vote matters.'"
Smith said he would continue to be involved in Worthington no matter the outcome.
"Election night was as unique as this campaign cycle," Smith said. "I am interested in watching the board of elections play out the remainder of the process. Regardless (of) the end result, I will continue to be involved in Worthington issues."
Kraut said he enjoyed getting to know the other candidates and residents.
"It's been a pleasure getting to know the residents and other candidates," Kraut said. "No matter what happens, tomorrow we'll all still be neighbors."
The 13-candidate council field -- with unofficial vote totals, according to the board of elections -- also included:
* Eddie Pauline, 1,411 votes (9.82%)
* Jennifer Rhoads, 1,324 (9.21%)
* Karen Filina Wilson, 1,075 (7.48%)
* Michael D. Farley, 1,004 (6.99%)
* Candy Brooks, 570 (3.97%)
* Barton Hacker, 547 (3.81%)
* Paul Dorothy, 398 (2.77%)
* Michael Troper, 256 (1.78%)
In the three-candidate race for two Worthington Schools board seats, Amy Lloyd will join incumbent Charlie Wilson for a four-year term.
According to final unofficial results from the board of elections, Lloyd led the field with 7,898 votes (40.7%), Wilson had 7,116 (36.67%) and Kelly Needleman had 4,392 (22.63%).
Julie Keegan, who has served on the school board for 12 years and three terms, did not run for reelection.
In Perry Township, voters approved a 1.5-mill renewal levy for road and bridge repairs.
According to final unofficial results from the board of elections, 831 votes (85%) were cast for the levy and 148 (15%) were cast against it.
"We are very appreciative of the support we receive from the Perry Township community," said Chet Chaney, president of the board of trustees for Perry Township.
The levy will cost $40.09 a year per $100,000 in property value, according to Beth Beatty, township administrator. The 1.5-mill levy was set to expire Dec. 31, according to a release from the township, and the renewal will continue it another five years.
The release said the Franklin County Budget Commission has certified that the property-tax revenue from the levy would be $241,386 annually.