At the November 2, 1999 general election, appellant and cross-appellee, Ted Dellas, appellee and cross-appellant, Morton E. O'Ryan
, and two other individuals were candidates for the office of Mayor of the city of Willoughby Hills, Ohio.
Dellas and O'Ryan
received the highest number of votes, but neither received a majority.
Therefore, under the Willoughby Hills Charter, a special mayoral election between Dellas and O'Ryan
was held on December 14, 1999.
Both Dellas and O'Ryan
participated in a program of the Lake County Board of Elections
in which, in the weeks before the election, they received lists of electors who had requested and submitted absentee ballots for the December 14, 1999 special election.This list of absentee voters as well as all pertinent records, including applications for absentee ballots, was available for inspection at the board of elections.In addition, the board, in accordance with R.C. 3503.23, made available for public inspection an official registration list of all electors eligible to vote in the special election.
On December 27, 1999, the board certified the results of the December 14 special election: 1,179 votes for O'Ryan
and 1,173 votes for Dellas.
Because the winning margin for O'Ryan
over Dellas in the special election was less than one-half of one percent of the total vote, the board conducted a recount pursuant to R.C. 3515.011 on January 1, 2000.
On that same date, the board certified the same result as the original count: 1,179 votes for O'Ryan
and 1,173 for Dellas, i.e., a margin of six votes.
Jeanette voted for O'Ryan
In March 2000, the common pleas court found that the three votes of Pogany, Penfield, and Jilek were invalid and reduced the number of votes certified for O'Ryan
to 1,176, which was still three more than the 1,173 votes for Dellas.
...The court held that O'Ryan had been elected Mayor of Willoughby Hills.
In so holding, the court rejected Dellas's claims that the McFarlanes were ineligible to vote because of their Texas registration and that vote disparities in Precincts BB and CC constituted election irregularities.
This cause is now before the court upon Dellas's appeal and O'Ryan's cross-appeal under R.C. 3515.15 from the judgment of the court of common pleas.
appeal, Dellas requests that we reverse the judgment of the court of common pleas and declare the results of the December 14, 1999 special mayoral election uncertain and consequently void.In his cross-appeal, O'Ryan
asserts that the trial court erred in deducting two votes from O'Ryan's total based on Pogany's and Penfield's absentee votes, but that the court correctly ruled that Dellas had failed to prove that the claimed election irregularities affected enough votes to change or make uncertain the election results.
defeated Dellas by six votes in the certified vote by the board, but the trial court determined that O'Ryan's margin of victory should be reduced to three because the board should have rejected the absentee votes of Pogany, Penfield, and Jilek.
now concedes that Jilek's vote was unlawfully cast and constituted an election irregularity.
O'Ryan's Cross-Appeal: Absentee Ballots of Pogany and Penfield
...In other words, O'Ryan would still have been elected mayor.