County recorder’s race goes to recount; Otsego levy fails


sThere will be a recount to see who will be elected as Wood County recorder but not for the Otsego Local Schools income tax issue.

The Wood County Board of Elections certified the results of the March 19 primary election at a meeting held Wednesday.

The recount is planned for April 9 at 9 a.m.

After the unofficial vote tally was released March 19, there were an additional 106 provisional ballots and 50 absentee ballots.

On election night, Republican incumbent James Matuszak and challenger Connor Rose were tied in the race for recorder with exactly 50% of the vote each. Both Matuszak and Rose received the same number of votes – 6,189.

With the addition of the provisional and absentee ballots, the new results are Matuszak with 6,224 votes and Rose with 6,233 votes.

The margin was still within one half of 1% of the total votes cast, which will require an automatic recount.

“We do recounts with regularity,” said Terry Burton, board of elections co-director. “It’s a little unusual to see recounts at a county-wide level but not unheard of.”

This will be the only recount.

Otsego saw its celebration turn to sorrow as results from Henry and Lucas counties were added to the results from Wood County on election night.

The five-year 0.5% income tax passed 1,272 in favor and 1,190 opposed in Wood County but lost in Lucas County, where 138 voted in favor and 221 voted against.

Otsego voters in Henry County also voted down the tax, 35 in favor and 53 opposed.

The unofficial results were 1,445 in favor and 1,464 opposed.

After the board of election certified the Wood County results, voters in this county still approved the levy, 1,276 to 1,201.

But after counting in the results from the other two counties, the win/loss margin was not within one half of 1% of the total votes cast, which will not trigger a recount in all three counties.

“We will not be having a recount. At this time, a recount is not anticipated because the gap (in votes) got wider,” said Burton. “They needed 14 for an automatic recount and now it stands at 26.”

Julie Baumgardner, board of elections co-director, agreed.

She said unless votes in Lucas County, which will be recounted next week, change dramatically, there will be no recount for Otsego.

But “until we get Lucas County official results, we won’t know,” she said.

“I’m not at all hopeful that’s going to sway this,” said Otsego Superintendent Kevin O’Shea.

He said he will wait to see who retires and departs at the end of the school year before talking cuts.

“We’re going to look for avenues to balance the budget,” he said.

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