Mayoral race in Ohio village could be decided by coin toss

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MAGNOLIA, Ohio (WJW)– The mayoral race in Magnolia, which sits at the border of Stark and Carroll counties, could result in a coin toss weeks after Election Day.

Candidates Travis Boyd, 48, and Grant Downes, 37, remain tied with 127 votes. In Carroll County, Downes won by two votes. However, in Stark County, Boyd won by two votes resulting in the tie.

According to the Travis Secrest of the Stark County Board of Elections, tie mayoral races are determined by coin toss. Secrest said they are still counting late-arriving absentee and provisional ballots. If a tie remains, a coin toss will determine the winner on the Nov. 21.

“I kind of planned for two outcomes and this was not one of them going into it. But it’s really about par for the course, I guess. That’s just how this town decides mayors, and we have to go through the process and see how it works out,” Downes said.

This is not the first mayoral tie in Magnolia, explained Secrest taking out a 1923 silver liberty coin from a yellowed envelope. He said the coin has been used to determine tie races since the early 1940s in the county.

“Given the history of Mayor Leach 40 years, ago winning by the toss of a coin. And then going 40 years of uncontested races and then the first contest we’ve had in Magnolia comes down to another coin toss, potentially. It’s great,” Boyd said. “I love it.”

When it comes to strategy for the coin toss, both candidates seem to have the same thing in mind.

“Mayor Leach picked tails so that’s my inclination, if it comes to the coin toss,” Downes said.

“I’m going with tails, I’m leaning on tails that’s what Mayor Leach went with, but at this point I don’t know,” Boyd said.

When it comes to voting one thing is clear: “It shows the importance that every vote matters,” said Secrest.

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