Midland mayor race official; BOE holds canvassing of votes

By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com

WILMINGTON — The official canvassing of votes held this week has determined the winner of the election for Midland mayor, a contest that was tied 17-17 in the unofficial results on Election Night.

With two additional ballots to include in the official tally, John Burris finished with a vote total of 19 while Deborah Schaeffer stayed put at 17 votes, according to the Clinton County Board of Elections website.

The purpose of a canvass, which is conducted for all election cycles, is to account for every ballot cast and to ensure each valid vote is included in the official results. A canvass includes all the valid ballots cast and counted — whether they be absentee, early voting, Election Day, provisional, challenged, or uniformed and overseas citizens, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) citizens are U.S. citizens who are service members, their eligible family members or overseas citizens.

A provisional ballot is one cast by a voter whose eligibility to vote can’t be proven at the polls on Election Day, states Ballotpedia. If after the elections, administrators determine the voter who cast the provisional ballot is eligible to vote, the ballot will be counted as a regular ballot.

The Clinton County Board of Elections’ official canvass did not change the unofficial outcome from earlier this month in the East Clinton Local Schools Board of Education race. On Election Night, candidates Janielle Runyon and Amy Zimmerman placed first and second respectively in a four-person campaign for two open seats.

Nonetheless, the race for the second available spot remained pretty tight after the official canvassing of votes from the school district, which covers parts of both Clinton and Highland Counties. Official results show Runyon receiving a total of 703 votes, Zimmerman collecting 672, Kasey Smith 662, and Kelli DeBold Jamison 637.

The official canvass also provides the official overall turnout numbers. In Clinton County, the official overall turnout came in at 33.85 percent, which is to say slightly over one in three registered Clinton County voters.

That figure is similar to the prior off-year General Election (November) in 2017 when overall turnout was 31.96 percent. But both of those off-year fall elections contrast with that of November 2015 when voter turnout in Clinton County registered 48.13 percent.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.


By Gary Huffenberger