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Final votes counted in razor thin margin for Bethel levy

BETHEL, Ohio (Jeff Hirsh) -- A local tax levy vote goes from a squeaker to a landslide.
     
The margin went from 1 vote to 3.  As Local 12 News reporter Jeff Hrish shows, this levy is proof that your vote really does count.

The Clermont County 911 center gets 145,000 calls for police, fire, and emergency medical services every year.  Some of those calls are from the small village of Bethel,  population 2,700.  On the May 6th Ohio primary, Bethel had a tax levy increase for 911 services.  It passed by one vote, 84 to 83.  But there were still two provisional votes, people whose addressed had changed, still to be counted by the board of elections Tuesday morning.  So the levy could have lost outright, or it could have tied if one of the provisional ballots was tossed on a technicality.  But both of those previously uncounted votes came in as yes.  So the levy ended up passing, 86 to 83. 

Every vote counts especially when turnout, 10 percent, is so low.

Tim Rudd, Chair of the Clermont County Board of Elections, said, "Absolutely, I remember in college I had a Poli-Sci professor who said he could paint the wall with elections where one vote mattered.  And when people say their vote doesn't matter, this vote did matter."
     
Every Clermont County government pays for 911 services on a per call basis.  If Bethel voters had said no,  911 would have continued, but other village services could have been cut to pay the difference.  Voters picking up more of the 911 tab frees dollars for things like new police cars and improvements to parks.

If the Bethal 911 levy had ended up as a tie in this final vote, it actually would have lost because levies and issues like that you have to win with a majority.  But if it's two people who tie they take a coin, flip it, and the winner is determined by a coin toss.  That actually happened in an internal Republican party race for central committee in Union Township.  And befitting Republicans, this coin has Abraham Lincoln on the front.

The Bethel 911 levy will cost the owner of a 100,000 dollar house another 25 dollars a year.  As for that Union Township tie vote which was decided on a coin flip, Jared Martin was declared the victor over Carol Kiem.  Each received 18 votes.



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