Fairfield City Council race’s automatic recount completed

Updated Dec 01, 2017
Pictured (from left) are: Fairfield Councilman-elect Ronald D’Epifanio, Fairfield Councilman Chad Oberson and Fairfield Councilman Bill Woeste

Fairfield City Council is set for the next two years.

An automatic recount was ordered in the at-large race following the certification of the Nov. 7 election. Councilman Bill Woeste received the third-most votes and was only nine votes ahead of former council member Terry Senger, who finished in fourth. That difference was within a half percent, which state law calls for an automatic recount.

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And nothing changed from last month’s certification of the election to Friday’s recount as Woeste’s nine-vote win over Senger remained intact.

Ron D’Epifanio received 23.54 percent of the votes, Councilman Chad Oberson received 19.9 percent and Woeste received 19.5 percent.

The recount started with a hand count of 5.3 percent of the total votes cast. State law requires at least 5 percent of the vote be hand counted when conducting an automatic recount. The board randomly selected precincts until that threshold was met.

“That’s why it’s important to get out and vote because your vote does count,” said Butler County Board of Elections Director Diane Noonan.

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The last time the board of elections conducted an automatic recount was in 2015 with the New Miami School Board race. Four people sought three seats and five votes separated second place and fourth place.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted frequently stresses the importance of voting in every election. Statewide, over the past four years there have been 112 elections were decided by a single vote or tied.

“If you have complaints or ideas on how your community can be better, the most powerful way to express those views is to cast a ballot,” Husted said. “Because our nation is one where every election we have the chance to shape some part of our government — or even strip it down altogether and start again.”

Just more than 25 percent of the voting public in Butler County, and around 22 percent of registered Fairfield voters cast a ballot in the Nov. 7 general election.