Close Elections in Ohio

In late June, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted released data on recent elections that have been tied or decided by only one vote. In the May 2015 primary and special election, four races—a contest for mayor, a city council race, a road levy, and a local bond issue—were decided by only one vote. Another city council race ended in a tie and was ultimately decided by a coin toss.

Over the past two years, 75 different contests in Ohio have either ended in a tie or been decided by a single vote.

Husted noted the impact that small numbers of votes can have in local elections: “Decisions are made by those who show up, which is an old quote that can sting pretty severely when you realize you are the one who could have made a difference in deciding if your local schools will receive more funding or whether or not you should pay more or less in property taxes,” he said.

Earlier this year, we discussed the various ways in which tied contests were decided following the November 2014 general election. In an election that saw record low turnout, these close races show that every vote counts, especially at the local level.

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Election Data Dispatches provides data, research and analysis about election administration in the U.S. While we link to external research data and other materials, we neither independently verify them, endorse the reports, nor affirm the authors' opinions.