MAHONING COUNTY Margins narrow in election process

Certified results also show that the Austintown school bond issue lost by 19 votes.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The margin in the race between Neil Buzzacco and Clarence Boles for the unexpired term on the Youngstown school board is down to nine votes.
Election results from Nov. 6, certified by the Mahoning County Board of Elections this morning, show that Buzzacco is beating Boles 1,157 to 1,148 in the race for the two-year term. Before the certification, Buzzacco was beating Boles by 44 votes.
The certified results, which include walk-in votes not counted on election night, also show that the 3.9-mill 26-year Austintown school bond is failing by just 19 votes. Results from election night showed the issue failing by 38 votes.
The board certifies election results by double-checking the vote tallies in each precinct in the county. State law requires the board to certify the results 13 days after the election.
Automatic recount: Because the difference between Buzzacco and Boles is less than 0.5 percent of the vote total, the board will conduct an automatic recount of the ballots cast in the race. The recount has been set for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 4 at the board office.
A recount of the votes for the Austintown school bond was conducted after this morning's board of elections meeting. Results were not available as The Vindicator went to press.
Both Boles and Buzzacco are write-in candidates. Boles said he was very optimistic about his chances in the recount. However, he added that if he does not win the race, he may sue the board of elections or the state over the interpretation of election law.
At this morning's meeting, board Director Michael Sciortino said ballots that do not have the candidate's name written on the line for write-in candidates were not included in the certified results. Sciortino said several voters wrote the candidate's name on other parts of the ballot.
Under state law, the board was not able to determine the intent of the voter if the name was not written on the write-in line, Sciortino said.
"The law really is quite specific that this is a main requirement," board Chairman Mark Monroe said.
But Boles said he thinks the law should allow the board to count ballots that include his name, even if it is not written on the write-in line.
"I think their intentions are clear," he said.

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