Recount needed only in Duchouquet

Results of the Nov. 5 general election stayed the same after they were certified Thursday by Auglaize County Elections Board members.
“There were no major changes other than we no longer need to have a recount in New Bremen,” Auglaize County Elections Board Director Michelle Wilcox said after the meeting.
When board members began certifying the election on Wednesday, Wilcox anticipated the need for two recounts in the county due to close results.
While the Duchouquet Township trustee race still
needs to be recounted, once provisional and absentee ballots were added into unofficial results, the race between six candidates for four New Bremen Village council seats was no longer as close.
Recounts are required by the state when votes are separated by one-half of 1 percent.
“We added the absentee and provisional ballots and reran cards and absentees and came up with numbers that matched perfectly,” Wilcox said of the process of certifying election results. “The good news is with provisionals and absentee votes, we don’t need to have a recount in New Bremen.”
She said that the race between three candidates for two trustee spots in Duchouquet Township remained close enough that there would still be a need for a recount there.
Dwight Steinke received 1,055 votes, John Limbert 992 votes, and Rick Place 987 votes, for the trustee spots, according to the county’s official election results.
With 3,034 ballots cast in Duchouquet Township, the board will be required to hand count 5 percent, or 152 of them, as part of the recount.
A letter is being sent to each of the trustee candidates to advise them of the recount scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Elections Board office.
Added to election night tallies were four absentee ballots that came in correctly postmarked and within the 10-day window. One was received after the deadline that did not count.
“They checked them, but we are responsible for approving them so I want to make sure we look at them, too,” board President Fran Engle said, as they reviewed the ballots.
The board also reviewed 63 provisional ballots, with 56 added to final election tallies and seven not approved for reasons including, their registration had been cancelled due to a certain time frame of voter inactivity, not being registered voters, and not filling out mandatory information.
Neighboring counties are to be notified of the official results from the election now that they are certified and the state is expected to determine a need for recounts for multi-county races including a mental health levy and Botkins Local School Board.
Auglaize County Elections Board Deputy Director Peg Matheny said once the state officially determines recounts are needed after all impacted counties certify their election results, they will have a 10-day time frame to do the recounts in those races.
Following the regular meeting, board members met in executive session to discuss salary survey results recently conducted by the county. Wilcox said she believed one employee underestimated what she did leading to concerns about how much she is being paid.
Board members took no action following their discussion in executive session.