Coin toss puts Klein on city council over Leeth

Jeff Gilliland The Times-Gazette

November 25, 2013

The final results in three races changed Monday after provisional and other ballots were tallied when the Highland County Board of Elections held its official count for the 2013 general election.

One of them, the race for the Hillsboro City Council’s Second Ward seat, came down to a coin flip.

After the unofficial results were posted Nov. 5 before provisional ballots were added in, Democrat Lisa Leeth held a 90-89 lead over Republican Claudia Klein. After the official recount Monday the two were tied at 109-109, requiring the tie to broke one way or another.

“You can draw lots or about anything the board wants to use to break a tie,” said Steve Witham, election board administrator. “You can put the names in a hat and draw the winner’s name out, and that’s what a lot of counties do, but we decided to use two (formats).”

After the board decided the tie would be broke by a coin flip, it had to determine who was going to call heads or tails. So, board officials walked down a hall to another office and found someone to draw the name of the candidate that would call heads or tails.

Leeth’s name was the one drawn and when the coin was flipped she called heads. It came up tails, though, meaning Klein is the winner.

Because the result is so close, another recount will be held in the near future to verify the results.

As things stand, Hillsboro City Council will be composed when newly elected officials take office in January of five Republican and two Democratic voting members.

Results from two other races changed after Monday’s recount.

For the Lynchburg-Clay Local Schools Board of Education, preliminary results showed Gary West leading the vote and Bobbie Joe Ernst ahead of Stanley Markey, 546-535, for the second seat. But those results included just Highland County numbers. Part of the Lynchburg-Clay School District also extends into Brown and Clinton counties and when those numbers were added in, Witham said Markey has now overtaken Ernst.

In the Salem Township trustee race, David Hamilton held a two-vote lead over Shane Simmons for the final spot trustee seat after the unofficial results were posted on Nov. 5. But after Monday’s recount, Simmons now holds a two-vote lead over Hamilton.

The official results for Salem Township trustee show Leroy Glenn Morgan with 131 votes, Simmons 119 and Hamilton 117.