An automatic recount is warranted in the race for the ninth and final Cincinnati City Council seat between Republican Amy Murray and Democrat Laure Quinlivan, but it is up to Quinlivan whether the recount will go forward.
In the official count by the Hamilton County Board of Elections done this week, Murray led Quinlivan by 859 votes – within the one-half percent difference that triggers an automatic recount.
But Sally Krisel, the deputy director of the board of elections, said Quinlivan could ask the board not to do the recount.
Hamilton County will pay $883,000 to cover legal fees for Judge Tracie Hunter. That's lower than the $920,514.22 she racked up while suing the Board of Elections and the county's ensuing appeals.
Commission President Chris Monzel says, "We actually got a reduction in the amount based on the promptness of that payment, which helps the taxpayers pay less money. But unfortunately we didn't win the lawsuit and we had to pay."
Fellow Commissioner Todd Portune says the amount is still much higher than it should have been.
The cases of two more voters accused of casting ballots in Ohio while living in other states have been referred by the Hamilton County Board of Elections to the county prosecutor for investigation.
The two are Naomi Lewin, a former classical music host at radio station WGUC, who moved to New York City in 2009 and Timothy A. Merman, who owns a home in Edgewood, Ky., but has voted from a business address in the Cincinnati suburb of Fairfax.
Voting from an improper address is a felony crime.
The Hamilton County Board of Elections is warning approximately 100 persons suspected of voting from false addresses, including about 30 police officers from around the county: fix the problem or be dropped from the voting rolls.
The board voted unanimously Monday morning to send out the letters giving the persons 30 days to register under their correct addresses.
The police officers, for the most part, used their police stations as their voting addresses, according to a board of elections investigation.
Libertarian Jim Berns, who sent a hand-written letter to the Hamilton County Board of Elections yesterday, saying he was withdrawing from the Cincinnati mayor's race, told the board today that he wants to be a candidate again.
But, board officials say, there is a legal question over whether Berns could withdraw from the race in the first place.
Tim Burke, the chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections, told WVXU that the board's lawyer told the board there is no provision in the Cincinnati city charter allowing candidates to withdraw.