For six hours Friday afternoon and evening; lawyers, witnesses, election officials and school employees all made the Butler County Board of Elections office look like Florida during the 2000 presidential election.
They held ballots into the light and squinted into tiny holes looking for chads, hanging chads, and dimpled chads. And after the exhausting count, nothing changed.
The outcome, at least, was the same. The Lakota School District tax levy, once again, failed by five votes. The recount of more than 90 ballots that were either under-voted or over-voted uncovered twelve new votes. Six "yes" votes for the levy and six "no" votes, so while the total number increased, the difference is still five.
A board of education member admitted to feeling disappointed, but said she's glad the vote and two re-counts were handled smoothly and fairly. Joan Powell says even though the district said massive cuts would need to be made if the levy failed, including some extra-curricular activities, more than 50 jobs, and plans for two new schools, those cuts will not be immediate. She says the board will try to come up with a plan to save as much as possible.