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Even a narrow victory can shrink



Published: Fri, May 24, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By David Skolnick (Contact)


On the side

Confused, not dazed: Marc Kovac, Vindicator Columbus correspondent extraordinaire, and I shared about 20 minutes of confusion while reporting that ex-Attorney General Marc Dann requested the Ohio Supreme Court reinstate his law license.

Kovac found a statement from Dann on his website about filing the petition with the court and a tweet from the former AG directing his Twitter followers to the post. When I looked at the site, it was nowhere to be found.

Kovac wondered if he was seeing things.

I emailed Dann for a statement, and he wrote that I should see his blog.

I wrote: “I did, but it’s no longer there. I’m guessing that’s an accident. Correct?”

Dann wrote back: “It’s back. I’m technologically challenged.”

The close Democratic primary for Youngstown mayor got even closer when all of the votes were counted.

On Thursday, the Mahoning County Board of Elections certified the final results of the May 7 primary.

That included 49 provisional ballots from Youngstown with 47 of them voting in the mayoral race.

The final tally saw John McNally’s margin of victory over City Council President Jamael Tito Brown decreased from 150 votes to 142 votes.

Among provisionals, Brown received 27 votes to 19 for McNally.

McNally received 3,311 total votes to 3,169 for Brown. The final percentages were 50.34 for McNally and 48.18 for Brown.

McNally beat Brown by 2.16 percentage points in the final vote compared to a victory of 2.29 percentage points before provisional votes were counted.

Also, Matthew Smith received one provisional vote raising his total to 97, or 1.47 percent of the vote. OK?

Provisional ballots are used if a voter’s eligibility is in question, such as: failing to provide proper identification when voting, a changed address or name, failing to update voter-registration information or not appearing on a list of registered voters, according to the Ohio secretary of state’s office.

County election officials then verify eligibility and count valid provisional votes.

In Mahoning County, 91 people voted provisionally with 21 disqualified for a variety of reasons, including not being a registered voter, failing to provide proper ID, and voting in the wrong precinct and wrong polling location.

The failed anti-fracking charter amendment in Youngstown did well among provisional voters, winning 32 to 16.

It had trouble with others with the final vote being 3,837 against and 2,912 in support.

Instead of losing by 14.04 percentage points on May 7, the charter amendment ended up being defeated by 13.7 percentage points with the provisional ballots included.

Looking ahead to the Youngstown mayoral general election, five candidates filed to run as independents.

July 15 is the deadline for the board of elections to certify the candidacy of independents. But the board will likely be ready to vote on certification Tuesday. Election board employees are finishing up the verification process.

Independent mayoral candidates in Youngstown need to have 176 valid signatures on their petitions to get on the November general election ballot.

The top two independent challengers, DeMaine Kitchen, the mayor’s chief of staff/secretary, and former Police Chief Jimmy Hughes, are fine.

But there is the possibility that one or two of the remaining three candidates could fall short of the needed number of valid signatures.


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