And the winner is? Scott Krichbaum.
At least for now.
Krichbaum leads Lynn Chapin in the race for the first-ward council seat, but the 321-318 total is so close that an automatic recount will be held next week. The Huron County Board of Elections released the official vote totals this morning.
A recount is mandated by state law if the difference is within one-half of 1 percent of the total vote. Board of elections officials say the recount should be completed early next week.
Those totals include 18 possible votes by residents that live in the fourth ward and are neighbors to Chapin, but were counted as first-ward residents in the board of election's computer system.
The race has been in controversy since first-ward resident Jim Orth questioned Chapin's residency on election day.
Chapin and 17 other residents were told in 2003 by the county board of elections that they were first-ward residents because city council had changed the boundaries for the city's four wards. The city redraws ward boundaries after each census to try to keep the city's four wards even.
Homes on the northern end of North Foster Street actually remained in the fourth ward, but board of elections employees entered incorrect information into the office's computer system that put those houses into the first ward.
Boundary lines between the city's four wards are redrawn after every census in an effort to keep the size of the wards even.
When Tera Thornhill announced that she was not running for her first-ward seat again, Chapin decided to run for the seat as a Democrat. Krichbaum joined the race as a Republican. Chapin said she would never have run for the fourth-ward seat held by Chris Mushett because she thought he was doing a good job of representing citizens.
Orth challenged Chapin's residency on election day and, after investigating, the board of elections conceded that she is a fourth-ward resident.
Pat Saunders attended the meeting of the board of elections and requested all records regarding the first-ward problems. "I was on the board of elections for 12 years and there is no excuse for a mistake like this," he said. "You just don't throw 18 people into the wrong ward."