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Politics

Automatic vote recount set in city, Ottawa Hills

Elections board looks to sample 2 close races

The Lucas County Board of Elections on Wednesday selected a random sample of precincts to recount in Toledo and Ottawa Hills as part of an automatic recount in two closely contested races.

Elections Director Meghan Gallagher said board employees would start the recount next Thursday and have scheduled four days to make sure a hand count of the ballots equals the machine count from Precinct 1 in Ottawa Hills and 13 sample precincts in Toledo.

In the vote count certified Monday from the Nov. 5 election, Toledo school board member Larry Sykes outpolled Toledo City Councilman Adam Martinez by five votes — 19,282 to 19,277 — to claim the sixth of six at-large council terms to start Jan. 2.

In Ottawa Hills, Councilman Robert Reichert finished one vote ahead of Edward Shimborske, 570 votes to 569, for a seat on the Village Council. In both cases, the differences are less than half of 1 percent of the total number of votes and triggered the recount.

During the meeting Wednesday, board members Jon Stainbrook, Ron Rothenbuhler, and John Irish used scissors to cut up 226 slips of paper, each marked with one of the city’s precincts, to be placed in a bowl with 13 selected at random. Board member Anthony DeGidio arrived late for the meeting. The Toledo precincts selected at random from the bowl were 4E, 8A, 3G, 7F, 13F, 14I, 16E, 2C, 9F, 24C, 18D, 24H, and 23L.

Ms. Gallagher said that if the automatic recount turns up a discrepancy between the machine count and the hand tally of ballots, then the entire council race would be recounted.

Contact Tom Troy: tomtroy@theblade.com or 419--724-6058 or an Twitter @TomFTroy.

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