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Election night source of butterflies for some, curiosity for others

Ohio polls closed at 7:30 p.m. and shortly after, a small group of interested spectators had gathered on the steps inside the Lawrence County Courthouse.

“I’m here for my mom,” Brian Mulkey, of Coal Grove, explained. Sadie Mulkey was running for re-election to the Dawson-Bryant school board but she’s been sick. A good son offered to be her eyes and ears for the evening.

“I told her, ‘you go home.’ She’s feeling better but she didn’t need to be here, be out in the cold air,” he explained.

Sadie Mulkey is a veteran board member and election nights with all their intensity are not new to her. Still, her son was waiting eagerly to see those results. Fellow board member Debbie Drummond’s daughter, Ashley, waited too.

“I’m kind of scared but I’m okay,” she said.

It is a Lawrence County tradition: Candidates either come to the courthouse themselves for part of the evening or send a friend or family member to watch the events unfold. If you’ve got a dog in the fight, you’ve got to stand on the sidelines at least for a little while or send that substitute.

Greg Crabtree, candidate for the Fairland school board, did both. He came and brought his friend, Charles Workman “for moral support,” Workman laughed.

By 8 o’clock, the main part of the first floor of the courthouse was a bit crowded. Even people who didn’t have a dog in the fight there to see the action.

“I came to see who won and who lost, I guess,” David Holschuh, of Hamilton Township, said.

One point of interest for him was the statewide Issue 3 on gaming. He was against it.

“I guess it would be all right for big cities but I don’t think it would help much around here,” Holschuh said.

Only one small glitch kept an otherwise flawless election night running past 11 o clock. Poll workers in Windsor Township precinct II forgot to bring the voting machine’s processor with them when they brought their ballots. A trip back to Linnville was required to fetch the missing piece of equipment.

General election 2009 brought 33.52 percent of Lawrence County’s voters to the polls to elect township trustees, school board members and municipal council members.