STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – The Board of Elections counted a box of misplaced write-in ballots on Saturday, and the ballots show a new leader in the mayoral race in Struthers.
On Election Night, the numbers said Danny Thomas lost his campaign to be Mayor of Struthers.
“When I saw the numbers on the board, I was 91 votes down, so I figured I lost,” Thomas said.
Then, the numbers said that Thomas won by 72 votes.
Current mayor Terry Stocker believed something was wrong.
“We couldn’t figure out how that could be because we went out and got all the numbers from the polling precincts, did all the calculations and then, the following day, we notified the Board of Elections that we believed there was something wrong,” Stocker said.
The Board of Elections was asked what went wrong.
“On Election Night, there were ballots from two precincts that were counted. We knew there were 147 write-in votes, but what we didn’t know was whose name was written on that space,” said Mark Munroe, Chair of the Mahoning County Board of Elections.
Mayor Stocker was a write-in candidate as he had health issues earlier in 2015 and did not plan on running for mayor. Stocker entered the race after the primaries.
“And a lot of the residents had contacted me and told me that they felt they were disenfranchised, that their votes were not counted on Election Day,” Stocker said.
The ballots were counted Saturday. The result was that Stocker is now up 73 votes.
“But I’d like to see how everything plays out before I start rejoicing a little bit, I would say,” Stocker said.
“We were down, we were up, now we’re down again. What are you going to do?” Thomas said.
The Board of Elections will count the 67 provisional ballots that are left. They will likely declare Stocker the winner in Struthers, and they will try to fix the problems for 2016.
“I’ve got no doubt that the staff is going to review what happened with this election and put whatever corrective measures in place that might be helpful next time,” Munroe said.