Champaign County Sheriff’s race headed for recount

Incumbent Melvin trails challenger Burroughs by 13 votes in unofficial results.

With a 13-vote difference, the Republican primary for Champaign County sheriff appears headed for a recount.

According to final, unofficial results, challenger Chad Burroughs received 50.1% of the vote to incumbent Sheriff Matthew Melvin’s 49.9%. Burroughs received 3,258 votes and Melvin had 3,245.

According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, an automatic recount is triggered when the margin is less than or equal to 0.5% for district, county and municipal races. A recount must be completed 10 days after it is ordered.

Champaign County Board of Elections Director Meredith Bodey said absentee ballots that are postmarked in time and received by Saturday will be counted, as well as 30 provisional ballots.

Bodey said the board will certify the election Thursday, and the recount will take place on April 11 at 9 a.m. She said the board will count 5% of the county and run the balances through the tabulator again, and if everything matches up, they will run the whole county again. The process takes about three to four hours.

Election day turnout — 31% in Champaign County — was “about normal” for a primary election, Bodey said, and local issues like school levies and an additional income tax likely brought out voters.

No Democrat is on the ballot for sheriff, meaning the winner of the primary will be named sheriff for the next term.

Burroughs previously ran against Melvin in the 2020 primary election, with Melvin winning by about 11% of the vote.

Melvin has been sheriff since he was named interim and then elected in 2012, and has worked as a dispatcher, corrections officer, court services deputy, patrol deputy, sergeant and chief deputy. He also holds an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Clark State Community College.

Burroughs worked in the Clark County Sheriff’s Office for several years as a sergeant, detective sergeant, major, colonel and law enforcement officer. Burroughs also attended the Law Enforcement Academy after graduation.

If Burroughs is elected sheriff, he will be the second Republican this election to beat out an incumbent in the area. In Clark County, Chris Clark beat eight-year incumbent Sheriff Deborah Burchett by 20% of the vote, according to final, unofficial results.

Clark won 62 of 76 precincts.

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