GREEN — Voters will have to wait until next month to find out whether the city law director job is becoming an elected position.

The law director charter amendment initially lost by 29 votes at the polls Nov. 6 but was declared the winner by 24 votes in Tuesday’s official count by the Summit County Board of Elections.

An automatic recount will take place Dec. 4.

Summit County Board of Elections Director Joseph Masich said the recount will begin at 9 a.m. at the board office at 470 Grant St. in Akron. He said the recount should be completed in about half a day.

The official final count for Issue 14 showed 11,240 ballots cast, with 5,632 voting “for” and 5,608 “against.”

Election night results, with provisional and late-arriving mailed absentee ballots not included, showed 5,537 against and 5,508 in favor of electing a law director rather than appointing one.

The law director post has been an appointed position since the city was formed in 1992.

“I think the committee and the people who worked really hard to get this issue in front of the voters will be very happy and pleased, but it’s not over till it’s over, obviously," said David Mucklow, legal counsel for the Committee for Responsible Green Government, which pushed for the amendment.

Mucklow said the law director election, if upheld by the recount, “would coincide with the mayor’s election starting in 2019.”

Ted Mallo,  a member of the political action committee called Residents for Effective Green Government that opposed the amendment, said the group is disappointed that the issued passed in the official count.

"However, we are more disappointed about the potential damage this will do to the effectiveness of the city of Green’s government," Mallo said. “It is unfortunate that the ballot language only presented the basic question of electing a law director, without supplying voters the actual text of the initiative petition and its problematic details.”

The two committees have five days, beginning Wednesday, to designate an observer for the recount if they choose, Masich said.

Asked why the PAC members believe they lost, Mallo responded: “Perhaps the single major challenge in opposing this issue was the ballot language itself… the attractiveness of the language that appeared on the ballot, without including the problematic text that was an integral part of the issue, made it difficult to effectively communicate to voters some of our chief reasons for opposing the issue.”

Masich said Green precincts 4C and 2E will be hand-counted. All 18 other precincts will be counts electronically.

He added that Green precincts 2A, 2B and 3C will be counted with 20 other Summit precincts as part of an audit requested by the Secretary of State’s Office for the statewide governor and treasurer races and the Ninth District Court of Appeals.

 

George W. Davis can be reached at: mediaman@sssnet.com