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When will Ironton know who’s mayor?

 

On Dec. 1, the city of Ironton is supposed to swear in a new mayor.

But because of the parameters set in the city charter and the Ohio Revised Code, the official canvas day when the election results are finalized could possibly come and go without voters knowing who the winner is.

That scenario recently sent the county board of elections seeking an Ohio Attorney General’s opinion on which set of laws would prevail. That opinion came in last week.

“From an administration of an election, it is the hardest possible opinion we could receive,” Mark McCown, election board member, said. “The attorney general states that the charter prevails when it directly conflicts with the Ohio Revised Code. If there is a runoff, it will be two weeks after the general election.”

However because there is nothing in the charter to address a recount, that would come under the provisions of the ORC, which could cause the conflict.

Four candidates are vying for mayor — Bob Cleary, John David Willis, Katrina Keith and Jim Tordiff.

To win the race a candidate must get at least 40 percent of the vote. If not, there will have to be a runoff between the top two vote getters.

On the surface that doesn’t seem problematic. But according to the city charter that runoff has to be two weeks after the general election or Nov. 17. Yet the earliest the board of elections can certify the results so there can be a runoff is Nov. 14.

“If it is close between the second and third place vote getter, there could be an automatic recount,” McCown said.

That means the earliest that could happen is Nov. 19 or two days after the runoff. If the recount changes who comes in second and third place, the question is is there another runoff?

That decision would be made by Ironton’s city solicitor, McCown said.

“That would be an interpretation of the charter,” he said.