MEDINA TWP. — The Medina County Board of Elections certified Nov. 7 election ballots Tuesday, but three close races mandate automatic recounts — for Hinckley and Litchfield township trustee and Rittman Exempted Village Board of Education.
In Hinckley Township, Jim Burns initially was the declared winner for one of two seats on the board of trustees by one vote, 977-976, over Scott Harrison.
“I was anticipating it,” Burns said of the recount. “I’m very grateful for the folks that supported me in Hinckley. It’s not in my hands; it’s in the voters’ hands. However it turns out, it turns out.
“I’ve been attending board meetings and zoning commission meetings, and staying active in my future responsibilities,” he continued. “I’m looking forward to serving citizens and guiding the developers here.”
Harrison described the race as “exciting and nail-biting.”
“I’m hoping I can come out and win the election,” Harrison said. “This is something that hasn’t happened for a long time in our town and I’m exciting to be a part of it.”
Incumbent Trustee Raymond Schulte clinched re-election with 1,557 votes.
During Tuesday’s elections board meeting, members randomly were selected to recount ballots in Hinckley Precinct A. Director Carol Lawler said the elections board and employees manually will count each vote from the precinct. She said this process is not unusual.
“We’ve had ties before,” she said. “We’ve done a coin flip to break the tie and then do a recount.”
In Litchfield Township, incumbent Trustee Dennis Horvath was re-elected with 575 votes, according to certified results.
Candidate Charles Reynolds topped Mike Setser’s tally 251-247; but because Reynolds defeated Setser by “less than half of 1 percent of the votes, the board will order an automatic recount,” Lawler said.
“I didn’t run with the idea of losing, so if there’s a recount and I come in ahead, I will be happy to take the seat,” Setser said.
“I was heartened by the reaction of the people out there. I wish I would have campaigned harder, because if I did, a recount wouldn’t be necessary. But this is my first time running for any sort of office, and you learn with everything you do.”
A message left for Reynolds was not returned Tuesday.
The board randomly selected to recount ballots in Litchfield Precinct B.
Rittman Exempted candidates Dale Hartzler, an incumbent, and Abby Avery were elected to the school board with 792 and 591 votes, respectively. Andrew Ballis rose above incumbent Walter F. Marquart by one vote, 499-498, which triggered the automatic recount.
Most of the school district is in Wayne County. Only two precincts are in Medina County: Guilford Township A and Wadsworth Township B.
The close vote also requires the Wayne County Board of Elections to conduct a recount, Lawler noted.
Medina County elections officials and staff will recount votes for the Hinckley, Litchfield and Rittman Exempted races beginning at 9 a.m. next Tuesday at the board office, 3800 Stonegate Drive. Candidates can attend the recount.
Out of the county’s 122,415 registered voters, 41,094 cast ballots, a 33.57 percent turnout, according to certified results.
Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.