Thursday, November 20, 2014



As only The Stark County Political Report does, The Report obtained a listing from the Stark County Board of Elections (BOE) of these Stark County precincts in which there are "uncounted" provisional ballots (regular) and provisional absentee ballots.

There are 1217 of such votes.  But only 1175 are going to be counted.  A unanimous (all four BOE members) board vote determined that a number of said ballots (along with some absentee ballots) are defective as a matter of law and therefore not eligible to be counted.

Those 1175 votes will likely (there could be a tie, no?) the contest between Curtis Werren (the Republican who was the beneficiary of a Republican John Kasich gubernatorial appointment in June, 2013 to succeed the retired V. Lee Sinclair), and Stark County chief prosecutor Chryssa Hartnett.

Hartnett finished with an "unofficial" 29 vote lead late in the night on November 4th.

It used be that it was "finger nail biting time" on recounts mandated or paid for by a challenging candidate in this country in razor thin election results.

But not so much anymore with the advent of electronic vote counting machines.

However, with federal legislation a number years ago, we Americans have invented a new drama into our voting and vote counting process:  "the provisional 'paper' ballot."

Absentee ballots are nothing new.  But the "stragglers" that come in after election day but postmarked on election day or before are relatively few in number.

The provisionals can be and in this election are quite a different matter.  In this election they outnumber the countable absentees 1,044 to 131.

Beginning with North Canton precinct 2D (Ward 2 is represented by North Canton Council president Daniel "Jeff" Peters [a colleague of Werren's wife Stephanie who represents Ward 3]) which (2D) was a Curtis Warren precinct in this election by a margin (unofficial count) of 57 votes; it might appear - at first glance - that in the contest of whom is going to be the elected judge that Curtis Werren has the advantage in that 2D, at 17 provisional ballots, is the top provisional voting precinct in all of Stark County.

However, the SCPR's take is that overall, it may be that challenger Hartnett has the advantage.

Of the top tier (five or more provisionals) of provisional ballot precincts, Hartnett won the precinct original "unofficial" count in 50 precincts whereas Werren won in 38 precincts.

For all precincts (provisionals and absentees), Hartnett won the original "unofficial" count in 150 precincts whereas Werren won 133.  One precinct ended in a tie (Jackson #19, 153 to 153).

Of course, nobody knows for sure as trying to figure out what type of voter (Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, rich, poor, middle income or any other tip off) voted and how a particular voter may have voted is a guess at best.

The SCPR is being told that the Werren camp is pinning its hopes on Lake Township.

Werren won 18 of Lake's 23 precincts.

In Lake there were 95 provisional "paper" ballots and 13 "late" but countable absentee ballots cast.

Precinct 15 stands out as a possible "treasure trove" for Werren supporters.  Werren won the precinct by a commanding 133 vote margin.

Could those 11 and the one absentee be decidedly for Werren?

If so, Lake, indeed, could be "a game changer" for those Stark Countians who want to see Werren elected.

So it stands to reason that Lake could be a key in turning the overall "official" and "certified" vote Werren's way.

The SCPR has sorted a spreadsheet file provided to The Report on request by Travis Secrest of the BOE and here is result of the sort.
  • SCPR Notes:
    • The colors (blue for Hartnett, red for Werren) were added by the SCPR)
    • Vote differentials and who won/lost precinct votes were tabulated by the SCPR; not the Stark BOE

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