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After further review: Ripley Township levy fails

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Dec 25, 2018 at 8:00 PM

RIPLEY TWP. — At first, a ballot issue in this Huron County township neither passed nor failed in last month’s general election.

Instead, a rare election-night tie was announced.

However, a recount revealed one vote had been left out — one which was cast against the tax.

So, when the election results were certified earlier this month, the Ripley Township levy failed.

Officials in Ripley Township, which as of the 2010 census had about 1,024 residents, placed an additional 1.5-mill levy on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The tax would have lasted five years and supplied the township with funds for road, street and bridge maintenance and repairs.

The election night totals revealed the tie — 139 both for and against the issue.

But those results were considered “unofficial” when they were announced by the Huron County Board of Elections.

Mark Adams, Lorin Brown and Don Sparks all serve as township trustees in Ripley.

None of them could be reached for comment for this story.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted reported that five elections — local issues — were decided by a single vote or tied in November.

“Once again we’re reminded that every vote and every election matters,” Husted said. “Issues and races at the local level directly impact our lives. The fact that 204 elections over the last five years have come down to a single vote proves that each one of us can make a difference.”

Issues and ballot questions require a majority vote in order to pass, so in the case of tie votes, the matter fails. For local races, such as city council or county central committee, in the case of tie votes winners are determined by lot. All of the races that resulted in a tie in this election were decided by either a coin toss or name draw.

Ahead of the 2015 General Election, Husted announced a new, statewide initiative giving every voter access to an online voter toolkit where they could view a sample ballot. This allows voters to know what they will be asked to decide when they cast their ballot. The online voter toolkit also gives voters the ability to track their absentee ballot, find their polling location and check their voter registration.

Husted said he has made it easier for Ohioans to get registered to vote and become an active participant in democracy. Ohioans can register to vote and update their voter address online. To date, more 98,000 people have registered to vote online and more than 668,000 Ohio voters have updated their information via the Internet.

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