Boardman replacement levy maintained its four-vote victory

By David Skolnick


A Boardman school replacement levy is heading for an automatic recount Tuesday, but the ballot issue looks like a winner.

The Mahoning County Board of Elections opened and counted provisional ballots Thursday and certified the results of the May 7 election.

Thirteen provisional votes were cast in the Boardman school issue, but three ballots were disqualified because they came from unregistered voters, and one failed to provide the proper identification.

That left nine ballots with four votes in favor, four votes against and one with no vote.

The 1.6-mill, five-year levy to raise $1,313,621 annually was ahead 1,556 to 1,552 when votes were counted on primary night, May 7.

With the provisionals included Thursday, the vote is 1,560 to 1,556 in favor.

“That shows that every vote counts,” said David Betras, the board’s vice chairman and county Democratic Party chairman.

The margin of victory is 0.12 percent. A recount is automatic when the margin of victory or defeat is 0.5 percent or less.

Frank Lazzeri, Boardman’s superintendent of schools, had expected the levy win to hold after the provisional votes were counted.

The Boardman school levy replaces one first passed in 1988 and will bring in an additional $480,000 annually. The money would go toward capital improvements and more security in the district.

State law also requires the board of elections to count by hand at least 5 percent of the total votes cast in a recount.

The board will select three or four precincts randomly, said Joyce Kale-Pesta, the board’s director.

If the hand-count matches the numbers in those precincts from the May 7 primary, the rest of the ballots are counted by the board’s voting machines.

If the hand-count numbers don’t match the primary numbers in the selected precincts, the board is required to count all of the ballots by hand.

An incorrect count is highly unlikely, election board officials say.

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