Final totals for Girard school levy will be available later in month
Twenty-nine more votes need to be counted in the Girard school issue.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
GIRARD -- There are still more votes to be counted in the school district levy balloting that ended in a dead heat Tuesday.
Totals showed that 1,383 ballots were cast in favor of a 6.5-mill additional operating levy with a like number in opposition.
Norma Williams, director of the Trumbull County Board of Elections, said Wednesday that 29 votes have not been counted.
The uncertified results will be available Aug. 16, Williams said.
There were 28 provisional ballots cast Tuesday. These are people who have changed addresses and walked in to cast ballots at their new polling places.
Williams said her staff has to determine if those who cast provisional ballots are registered voters, voted in the proper precinct and live in the Girard school district.
There was one overseas ballot that was sent that also hasn't been counted. Williams said there were 33 overseas ballots cast in the county, but only one was from a Girard voter.
Before the 29 votes are counted, her staff must canvass each precinct to account for each ballot cast, Williams pointed out.
"We make sure every ballot is accounted for. We do a thorough check," she said, noting the number of ballots must match the number of voters.
On Aug. 16, Williams noted, the ballots will be recounted and the provisional and overseas ballots counted for the first time.
This makes up the uncertified results that will be available to the public. It will be the first time that Girard voters will know the outcome of the election.
The count will not be official until Aug. 24, when the elections board meets to certify the results.
If the difference in those for and against the issue is one-half of 1 percent or less, there will be an automatic recount.
Superintendent Joseph Jeswald is optimistic the levy will pass once the uncounted ballots are opened.
The superintendent said he doesn't know why the issue wasn't approved Tuesday.
Although the levy had an uphill battle at the beginning of the campaign, Jeswald said he believes it had picked up enough momentum to win.
He said the grass-roots effort enabled voters' questions to be answered, and residents are aware the district hasn't passed an operating levy in 16 years.
At the same time, Jeswald pointed out, the district has made $700,000 in cuts to lower costs.