Several local races impacted by absentees

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 29, 2007

In some local races, absentee votes have become highly important.

In the Coal Grove mayor’s race, the absentee votes counted for 47 percent of the votes cast and in the village’s council race, winner Frederick Phillip Roush got 68 percent of his votes from absentees (of his 403 total votes, 275 were absentee).

In at least two races in Lawrence County, one person won with the votes cast at the polling booth, but ended up losing when the absentee ballots were added into the equation.

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“It makes a big difference in some races,” said Eric Bradshaw, the deputy director of the board of elections. “In the Elizabeth Township fiscal officer race, the person that lost the absentee votes ultimately lost the race.”

In that race, incumbent Kathy Bamer won all three precincts with 305 votes cast at the polls over challenger Carrie Yaniko having 219. But when the absentee ballots were added in, Yaniko won with 470 votes to Bamer’s 432.

Yaniko said she was kind of surprised by the number of absentee ballots, but “a lot of people vote absentee because you don’t have to have a reason such as illness to do it.”

Yaniko is the education/urban coordinator for the Soil and Water Conservation District. The political first timer said got votes the old-fashioned way, knocking on so many doors that she lost count.

“I went door to door, talking with everyone,” she said. “People like to see your face and talk with you. But I didn’t realize that there were so many people in the county that voted absentee.”

In the race for the second open seat on the Fairland School Board, there was a 70-vote difference between David Judd, who had 626 votes, and Jason Gorby, who won the poll votes with 696. However, Judd got 133 absentee votes to Gorby’s 49, making Judd the winner by 14 votes.