School Bond Issue Will Be Decided by Provisional Ballots

Meanwhile, district will proceed as if Issue 166 passed


With all the confusion surrounding the changing vote tally for Issue 116, the bond issue for the Strongsville schools, one thing is certain:

Provisional ballots will decide the outcome.

There are a total of 698 provisional ballots waiting to be counted in Strongsville, according to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

Unofficial results posted on the board's website on Thursday still show Issue 116 ahead by 28 votes -- 11,222 to 11,194. 

But some are saying that doesn't include the 39 votes cast by the lone Lorain County precinct in the Strongsville district, where 32 votes went against he issue and only 7 were in favor.

That would shrink the margin to three votes. 

And still uncounted are the 31 absentee ballots that have come in, so far, after Election Day.

"I've never seen anything like this," School Board President David Frazee said. "Everything truly is going to rest on those provisional ballots."

The Provisional Factor

Mike West, spokesman for the Board of Elections, said county officials have 10 days following the election to review the provisional votes -- ballots cast at the polls Tuesday but set aside because of questions about the voters' eligibility -- and reject the ones that will not be counted.

After that 10-day period, the provisionals will be tallied, West said.

They will obviously decide the outcome of the Strongsville schools' $81 million bond issue, which would fund construction of a new middle school and pay for significant improvements to Strongsville High School and repairs to elementary schools.

Frazee said he is "cautiously, hopefully optimistic" about those uncounted ballots.

"My gut tells me those provisionals are going to be more positive than negative," he said.

Regardless, the district will proceed as if Issue 116 has passed. Frazee said officials will continue to meet with an architect on the design of a new middle school.

"W're going to keep moving forward as if it's a go," he said. "We don't want to lose any ground here."

The Confusion Over Changing Numbers

Still unexplained is why the figures for Issue 116 changed early Nov. 7. 

When the Board of Elections posted results with 36 of 36 precincts counted, the issue was behind by 83 votes -- 11,006 against to 10,923 in favor. 

Another posting at 2:02 a.m. showed another 487 votes added to the tally and the issue slightly ahead.

West told Strongsville Patch Wednesday he could not explain the change, other than possible human error.

Frazee also tried to get an answer.

"The Board of Elections could not explain where those votes came from," he said.

Absentee ballots could still make an impact, too. According to the Board of Elections, there were 776 absentee ballots requested in Strongsville that have not yet been returned. 

Those ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 5 and reach the Board of Elections within 10 days of the election.

The day after the election, 31 came in.

jv November 08, 2012 at 05:41 PM
like its not going to pass? they will find a way. this city sucks!!!!
lyn November 08, 2012 at 06:02 PM
As per the Patch article today, http://strongsville.patch.com/articles/who-did-strongsville-pick-for-president-f09689bd, "About 80 percent of Strongsville's 32,142 registered voters cast ballots in the Presidential election" So, that would be 25,714 ballots. But, per above, 11,222(for) +11,194(against) = 22,416 ballots That's about a difference of 3300 ballots. Where is the difference? The 698 provisional? Absentee ballots, but only 31 had come in and it doesn't take that long to get there from here. And, maybe some didn't vote on this, but about 2500 people? Something sounds off!
Bev November 08, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Yeah, as if we don't pay enough taxes in this city....They need more money to build , build and build...
Bev November 08, 2012 at 06:19 PM
It is, there was a screw up and they just assume it passed.
Brian November 08, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Lyn, per the board of elections: there were 24,674 total ballots cast in Strongsville, which is 76.8% of registered voters. For the bond issue there were 11,222 for, 11,194 against, 5 overvotes (voted "for" and "against"), and 1,975 undervotes (did not vote for either). Now that adds up to 24,396 votes total. Not sure where the 278 vote difference is (provisional ballots?) but it's a lot closer than the 3300 vote difference you mentioned.
Debbie Palmer November 08, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Lyn, Brian is right. About 2,000 people apparently voted for president in Strongsville, but not on the school bond issue.
lyn November 08, 2012 at 07:53 PM
3300 - 2 rounding -1040 difference between Patch est. of ballots to your number -1980 net over/under votes you mentioned _____ 278 your difference WOW! Almost 2,000 didn't vote either way, almost 10% - can that be verified? Seems unbelievable.
Brian November 08, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Don't worry, I wasn't questioning your math. It's actually not as unbelievable as you might think. For instance, in the Brown/Mandel race about 5% of the ballots cast were undervotes and in the Renacci/Sutton race about 8% were undervotes (this is for ballots cast in Cuyahoga County). I think in Presidential years there are a lot of people who vote for the Presidential race, maybe vote for the Congressional races as well, and that's it. Depressing? Maybe. But that's how things are in this country... You can check the numbers for yourself: http://boe.cuyahogacounty.us/pdf_boe/en-US/ElectionResults2012/11062012UnofficialResultsbyContest.HTM
lyn November 08, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Brian- thanks!
lyn November 08, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Brian-I was under the incorrect assumption that people felt one way or the other about this bond issue, and that this would be voted on by almost all. I can understand people not voting for some individuals, as I do that - I would rather not vote for any judge when I know nothing about either. Or for some people, even an issue if they don't understand - but a school levy people usually know yes or no if they want it.
Ken McEntee November 08, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Unscanned absentee ballots reversed school bond defeat. http://strongsville.patch.com/blog_posts/unscanned-absentee-ballots-reversed-school-bond-defeat
Jean Williams November 08, 2012 at 10:07 PM
I did not vote for the school levy either way until the teachers had a signed contract (yes I am aware they are not connected)
lyn November 08, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Very good point, Jean.
Rick C November 09, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Did you think Coyne was the only one with a hand in your pocket?
sportsman November 11, 2012 at 08:30 PM
read what mr . frazee said we will continue to meet with an architect so were did the money come from


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