33 Provisional Ballots in Ward 1 Could Change Council Race
Votes won't be counted until the end of the month
The outcome of the Ward 1 Kent City Council race just got a new variable: 33 provisional ballots.
Republican Kent City Councilman Garret Ferrara narrowly retained his seat by a mere 10 votes in last week's election, but the provisional ballots could potentially change the outcome of the race. Ferrara received 754 votes and his competitor, Democrat Melissa Long, got 744 of the 1,498 votes cast on election day, according to final but unofficial results from the Portage County Board of Elections.
There are several scenarios that could change the outcome of the race and oust the incumbent. The race could even end in a tie if 10 voted for Ferrara and the other 20 voted for Long.
Portage County Board of Elections Director Linda Marcial said another variable to consider is if all 33 voted on the ward race. Some of those provisional ballots may only include votes for state wide issues, she said.
One thing's for certain — the provisional ballots could change the outcome of the race.
"Oh absolutely," Marcial said. "You don’t know. It depends how many of those 33 ballots voted on that race, and it depends how many voted for the ward race and who voted for Melissa and who voted for Garret. Just because there’s a ballot doesn’t mean they voted on Ward 1.”
But the votes won't be counted for the separate candidates until Nov. 29 when the board of elections certifies the election results and officially determines the winner of the race. So for now the candidates must wait 14 days.
As it stands now, the race doesn't fall within the threshold for an automatic recount.
Long told Kent Patch last week that she may formally request that the board conduct a recount "to make sure that every vote was counted correctly."