By RON SELAK JR.
and RAYMOND L. SMITH
WARREN TOWNSHIP - Kay Anderson kept her seat on the Board of Trustees, that much is for sure. But who's going to join her is still in question.
Unofficial returns for the other seat ended in a tie between candidates Robert Bush and Phillip E. Fletcher, both men receiving 291 votes, or 18.8 percent of the tally each. Anderson received 23.1 percent of the vote in the six-person race.
Bush and Fletcher say they are just waiting to hear word.
Unofficial returns in the race for two seats on the Warren Township Board of Trustees:
- 23.1% / 358 votes
- 18.8% / 291 votes
Phillip E. Fletcher
- 18.8% / 291 votes
- 18% / 278 votes
Allen L. Briggs
- 14.83% / 229 votes
Caleb Roth, write-in
- 6.2% / 97 votes
"I'm a little bit upset because I thought this would be over," Bush, 68, said. "I feel either Phil or myself will be able to do the job adequately."
Fletcher described the thought of a tie as "a little odd."
"I'm just going to wait until we hear the final result," Fletcher said.
According to the Trumbull Board of Elections officials, there are three possible absentee ballots and 10 possible provisional ballots that could factor into the outcome and determine whether an automatic recount is necessary. Automatic recounts are triggered when the margin is less than one-half of 1 percent.
The Trumbull County Elections Board will meet Nov. 25 - one day before elections must be certified in Ohio - to certify the results from Tuesday's general election.
''If it's still a tie on the day we certify, a coin will be tossed to proclaim a winner and an automatic recount would happen between five and 10 days,'' elections board director Kelly Pallante said.
Both Bush and Fletcher have served together on the township's zoning board of appeals. Bush has lived in the township for most of his life. Fletcher moved into Warren Township about 40 years ago.
"If I win the seat, I'll work to improve the image of the township," Bush said. ''We don't get the coverage we deserve for the good stuff that happens here. People should feel good about living here."
Fletcher, 64, retired from the Trumbull County Engineer's Office in 2012.
"I want to try to get our departments back to where they were some years ago," Fletcher said. "I want to try to bring more business into the township."
Fletcher described the competition between the two men as a friendly rivalry.
Probably the last time a coin flip determined the outcome of a race in Trumbull County was in 2001 in Lordstown. Then, candidates for village council Karen Jones and Mary Jane Wilson tied with 551 votes for the final seat on council. Jones was declared the winner by coin flip and a recount confirmed the numbers.
Candidate Ryan Yoho was also within 13 votes of second place.