Election recount: EL council results still the same

LISBON — East Liverpool City Councilman Ray Perorazio will retain his seat following Wednesday’s recount by the Columbiana County Board of Elections.

Elections board Director Adam Booth said a hand count of the ballots cast in one of the two precincts that make up East Liverpool’s 1st Ward matched those tabulated by the optical scanner system, which means Perorazio was declared the official winner over challenger Linda Ziegler.

The two were tied 152-152 following the official count after provisional and late-arriving absentee ballots were added to those cast on Nov. 7. To break the tie, the board used the state-approved practice of pulling names, and board President Patty Colian pulled Perorazio’s name from a wicker basket on Nov. 22.

Since the margin of victory was less than 0.5 percent, an automatic recount was required. This involved hand counting a portion of the ballots to determine if they matched those recorded by the scanner system. Booth said they counted by hand all 144 ballots from one of the precincts and the results were identical to the scanner results, which means Perorazio’s victory stands.

In related news, Robert J. Blazek, 58, of Bellaire, filed candidacy petitions earlier in the month to run for the congressional seat held by U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta, who is up for re-election in 2018. Like Johnson, Blazek is a Republican.

Also up for re-election next year are state Rep. Tim Ginter (R-Salem), county Commissioner Mike Halleck, county Auditor Nancy Milliken, and county Common Pleas Court Judge C. Ashley Pike.

Feb. 7 is the filing deadline for those wanting to run for these offices as either a Democrat or Republican. The filing deadline for independents is the day before the 2018 primary election.