The Champaign County Board of Elections certified Nov. 7 election results Monday and released new figures that change the outcome of the Urbana school board race.
Unofficial results indicated Tim Lacy would retain his seat on the board, however, the official result is that Lacy loses his seat and candidate Jim Arter, a former school board member, once again will serve on the Urbana school board. Another incumbent, Alyssa Dunham, will be departing the board along with Lacy as a result of the election.
Official results show Amy Shaloo Paul won with 1,000 votes; Darrell Thomas won with 913 votes; Arter won with 773 votes; and Lacy came in fourth with 739 votes. They were among nine candidates vying for three school board seats. Also in this race, Dunham had 738 votes, Nicole Blair 722, Elizabeth DeWitt 651, John Birkhimer 417 and Jeffery Hepp 409.
On Monday, Meredith Bodey, director of the county Board of Elections, said there will be a hand count on Tuesday of Urbana South precinct ballots cast in the school board race due to an error made Nov. 7 by a contractor who inadvertently downloaded votes from this precinct more than one time.
“This will be done for any concern of voters and our own peace of mind,” Bodey said.
When contacted by the Urbana Daily Citizen on Monday afternoon, Arter was surprised by the change in the results but eager to return after several years away from board service.
“I am thrilled to once again be allowed to serve the children of the Urbana City Schools and our Urbana community,” he said. “It is an honor to be part of something bigger and more important than myself. I believe I have always been a positive part of public school education and I will strive to continue in that capacity as a school board member. In meeting the other candidates who ran for school board, I was impressed by their passion, their knowledge and their positive outlook on the Urbana City Schools. I urge them to consider running for school board in the future.”
In a separate race for an unexpired term on the Urbana school board, the election of Sarah Finch was confirmed. Finch had 1,363 votes and Laura Reed had 846, according to the certified numbers. The seat had belonged to Warren Stevens, who died in an automobile accident in 2016. The term expires Dec. 31, 2019 and is currently held by board-appointee Darrell Thomas, who opted successfully to seek election to a full term.
Current board member Jack Beard opted not to seek re-election after his term expires this year. Current board president Jan Engle still has two years remaining on his term.
The Board of Elections counted 66 of 72 provisional ballots Monday. Provisional ballots not counted included those filed by people not registered as Ohio voters and those filed by people who also had submitted absentee ballots. The Board of Elections also counted seven absentee ballots not yet counted.
Bodey said that the counting of provisional ballots, as well as absentee ballots not counted until Monday, may have contributed to the change in the outcome of the Urbana school board race. She added that the downloading error on election day also may have contributed to the error.
Bodey said that as of Monday, results listed at electionsonthe.net/OH/CHAMPAIGN/elecres.htm are correct.
She added that the same downloading problem occurred with the Salem North and South precincts, which could have impacted the West Liberty-Salem school board race. She said revised figures were sent to the Logan County Board of Elections after the Champaign board certified this county’s results.
The Logan County Board of Elections meets to certify that county’s Nov. 7 election results at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 27.
According to two-county combined numbers – part of which are not finalized yet in Logan County – winners in the WL-S race were David Cline with 793, Chuck Buck with 789 and Tim Lamb with 738. Write-in candidate Julie Cole had 723 votes, Trey Richardson 535 and Dixie Kopus 542. The top 3 are elected.