Sunday, November 10, 2002

Cincinnati Schools vote not over yet

By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

It's a long shot, but the Cincinnati Public Schools bond issue, which was defeated by a margin of 1.6 percent Tuesday, still has a chance of passing.

The Hamilton County Board of Elections has about 2,800 ballots within the school district that have yet to be counted. The provisional ballots come from registered voters who moved within the district but didn't notify the board of elections of a change of address.

The $480 million bond issue, which was for the construction of 35 new schools and the renovation of 31 others, failed by 1,355 votes - or 50.8 percent of the total 87,261 votes to 49.2 percent.

The provisional ballots will be counted and verified by Nov. 16, although it's unlikely all the ballots will be valid.

Yet if the addition of the provisional ballots brings the election results to a difference of less than 0.5 percent, the board will order a mandatory recount.

Under that scenario, the parties would be notified and a recount would be conducted within a week of Nov. 19, said board of elections director Julie Stautberg.

School board member Melanie Bates said about 70 percent of the provisional ballots would have to favor the bond issue to secure a recount.

Tim Burke, chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections, said it's unlikely the outstanding ballots will change the election's outcome. He said provisional ballot results typically mirror the results of the other Election Day ballots.


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