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Outcome of Xenia City Schools tax levy still in doubt as ballots are being counted by hand

XENIA — Whether the Xenia City Schools tax levy won or lost at the ballot box remains in doubt as ballots cast Election Day last month are still being counted by hand, as directed by state law.

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The outcome of voting on any issue or candidate is never final until the votes have been certified, especially when the vote tally is too close to call.

And in Greene County, because voting on the income tax levy issue was so close and because a part of the voting district for the levy is in Warren County, the outcome of a race people went to the ballot box for on Nov. 8 is still several days away.

“We are procedurally required by O.R.C. [Ohio Revised Code] to re-count 5 percent of ballots by hand,” Alisha Lampert, director, Greene County Board Of Elections, told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell on Friday.

Once the hand count of 5 percent of total ballots is completed and checked to make sure they match, then the entire vote will be re-scanned electronically and tabulated again.

“When we combined it with Warren County, it is a multi-county issue, it puts it at dead-even,” Lampert said.

The Xenia schools levy is a half-percent income tax renewal not scheduled to expire until the end of 2023. But its future is in doubt because the votes are tied headed into the re-count.

“So if it ties, it fails, that is by O.R.C. [Ohio Revised Code] directive,” Lampert said. “We have nothing to do with that. It is set by the legislators.”

Lampert’s employees also had to perform 5 percent hand re-counts, then full 100 percent electronic scanning on the Beavercreek streets levy as well.

“It’s led to extra hours and headaches but may not change things,” she said.

The people at the board of education are anxiously waiting the results because they will have to decide what to do next, depending on the outcome.

The outcome won’t be known until Saturday, possibly even Monday.

We will update this report when information about the levy’s outcome is made available.