Springfield residents may not know who their mayor for the next four years will be Tuesday night even though, traditionally, unofficial results are usually available.
That’s because this year two candidates are running write-in vote campaigns. Clark County Board of Elections Director Jason Baker said his office will scan and count each ballot on Tuesday night. But the office won’t know who each write-in vote was cast for until a careful examination following election day.
“We will use the 10 days after the election to make sure we have everything we need from a write-in vote,” Baker said. “Tentatively, we should know the winners on Nov. 18.”
This election, longtime Springfield Mayor Warren Copeland is running against Renea Turner and Fred Stegner. Turner and Stegner are write-in candidates. For residents to vote for Copeland, they can fill in his bubble on the ballot. For residents to vote for either Turner or Stegner, residents must correctly spell their names in the write-in portion of the ballot.
Because two write-in candidates are running, Baker said there is a possibility that the winner won’t be known for some time. However, it’s also possible that residents will have a good idea who their mayor will be should Copeland come out far ahead Tuesday night.
Anyone interested in following along can easily do so with a computer. A person can log onto SpringfieldNewsSun.com and follow along as each precinct returns their ballots to the election board’s office. The Clark County Board of Elections has its electronic set up to indicate two votes for the mayor’s race: Warren Copeland and Write-In.
Should Copeland have more than 50% of the vote, he can safely be declared the unofficial winner of the election. However, should he fail to reach that threshold, the winner will be unclear until all the votes are counted. Regardless, the official winner will be declared at an election board meeting — pending any recount requests.
Baker said his office will count each ballot regardless of the Tuesday night outcome.
While many are waiting for Tuesday to arrive to cast their ballot, some have decided to go ahead and do so. Early voting returns are in. In the Springfield mayor’s race, around 500 early voting ballots have been returned. For comparison, about 12,000 people voted in Springfield’s 2015 mayor’s race that pitted Copeland against Stegner.
Copeland won that race with more than 64% of the vote.
Along with picking a mayor, Springfield residents will also face a school board decision. Four candidates are vying for three spots on the Springfield City School Board including two incumbents, Jamie Callan and Chris Williams. Also on the ballot are Joan Elder and Reid Tackett.
Outside of Springfield, there are several competitive races Clark County and Champaign County voters will decide on Tuesday.
In New Carlisle, residents will vote for city council candidates. In that race, four seats are up for grabs. Three incumbents, mayor Mike Lowery, Vice Mayor William Lindsey and councilwoman Amy Hopkins are running to retain their seats. Dale Grimm and Linda Eggleston Nowakowski are running to win a seat.
The city of New Carlisle is also asking voters to approve a renewal on the police levy first passed in 2015.
In Mad River Twp., challenger Todd Pettit is facing off against longtime township trustee Kathy Estep for her spot. And in Springfield Twp. Barbara Fletcher and Mark Smith are running against each other for the township’s fiscal officer position.
Meanwhile in Champaign County, Urbana voters will have some decisions to make. Urbana Mayor Bill Bean is running for a third term against Justin Weller. Also, Urbana voters will decide on a council race.
For more races and information on the candidates, visit the Springfield News-Sun voter guide online.
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