Franklin County Results Delayed By Write-Ins

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Write-in candidates in two races are affecting election results for all of Franklin County, and some races may not be decided until early tomorrow, 10TV News reported.

As of 10 p.m. only about one third of the county's 867 precincts had been counted, board of elections spokesman Ben Piscitelli said.

The board was hand-counting all ballots with write-in candidates.

The Columbus City School board race and the Bexley Auditor all had write-in candidates.

Those results of those races likely won't be released until at least 1 a.m., Piscitelli said.

The delay is also holding up general election results, meaning other watched races, including school and library levies, are coming in slowly.

Voters were asked to decide the fates of more than 20 school levy and bond issues, along with statewide issues pertaining to war bonds, livestock regulation and future of casinos in Ohio.

Reynoldsburg, Westerville, Worthington, Marysville and Circleville are among the central Ohio school districts with levies on the ballot, but perhaps none of those districts have seen a campaign push like the one in the South-Western City School District.

WEB EXTRA:  Election Results

Voters there have shot down four previous levy proposals, prompting administrators to slash athletics and extracurricular activities. 

On Monday, supporters and opponents of Issue 47 continued to spar over the levy, prompting police to be called at one point, 10TV's Brittany Westbrook reported.

Opponents of the levy are mostly concerned with district management and increasing taxes.  Some went so far Monday as to cut down green ribbons that had been put up around Grove City in support of Issue 47.

SLIDESHOW:  Residents Spar Over Issue 47 | SPECIAL SECTION:  Campaign 2009

"I've been up since 9 this morning cutting these ribbons down," said Dennis Smith, a levy opponent. 

Opponents said they had the right to cut down the ribbons because they had been put on city property, like light poles.   At one point, supporters called police to get clarification.

Some Grove City residents said the levy issue has drawn a line in the community.

"It's divided churches, it's divided everything," said Issue 47 supporter Joe Fields.  "You have congregations of people sitting in pews that are divided on the levy issue."

Brenda Bailey, whose son attends school in the South-Western City School District, said the outcome of Tuesday's levy proposal would determine their next move.

"We won't stay in this community if it's a community that does not support its children," she said.

One of the most hotly-contested statewide issues on the ballot is Issue 3, which would bring four casinos to Ohio, 10TV's Kevin Landers reported.

Under the plan, Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Toledo would each get a casino.  Supporters say the addition of casinos would create 34,000 jobs, along with millions in tax revenue, Landers reported.

Opponents of Issue 3 say casinos would create social ills like increased crime, bankruptcy, domestic violence and prostitution.  They say Ohioans will shoot down the proposal, just as they have done to four similar issues in the past.

Issue 2 has also been a hotbed of debate in recent weeks.

The proposal, if passed, would approve creation of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, Landers reported.

The board would regulate the raising of livestock and poultry in an effort to maintain and promote food safety.

Critics say the issue puts the economic interest of factory farms ahead of the welfare for farm animals and gives too much power to government.

In the city of Heath, voters on Tuesday will be asked to amend the city's charter to ban red light cameras.

Ten red light and speed cameras have netted the city $750,000 since July.  While supporters say the cameras improve safety by reducing crashes and speeding, opponents claim the cameras are pushing business away from Heath.

They also say city officials approved the cameras with little public input.

Another big issue will be decided in Pataskala, where voters are being asked to support the city's first income tax, which if passed, would support the city's police department, Landers reported.

Watch 10TV News and refresh for continuing Campaign 2009 coverage.