Ask Todd About … elections

Q: Given that Canton will elect a mayor this year and the primary race was close between Democrats William Healy and Kim Perez, has the race for Canton’s mayor ever finished in a tie?

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Q: Given that Canton will elect a mayor this year and the primary race was close between Democrats William Healy and Kim Perez, has the race for Canton’s mayor ever finished in a tie?

A: Thanks for the timely question. It is important to remember that Healy and Perez are both Democrats and ran for that party’s nomination for the November election. However, yes, one race for mayor did finish in a tie. In 1911, incumbent Mayor A.R. Turnbull finished in a tie with challenger Harry Shilling. Both candidates finished with 3,414 votes. As legend has it, Turnbull was accused by some as turning a blind eye to some of the city’s gambling problems.

At the time, Ohio election law required tie races to be decided by the candidates’ casting lots.
Shilling and Turnbull met at the Stark County Board of Elections to decide how to break the tie. They agreed that a member of the election board would scoop grains of corn, and if there was an even amount, Turnbull would win, odds would be Shilling.

Shilling took exception to the outcome and filed a lawsuit in common pleas court, in part citing that determining Canton’s mayor from a tied election by casting lots was a form of gambling. He won and served as mayor from November 17, 1912, to May 2, 1913, before that decision was overturned by the court of appeals. Turnbull served the remainder of his term until 1914, when Charles Stolberg was elected.

Q: Mortgage rates are below 4 percent right now. Is this the lowest that rates ever have been?

A: Oh, what a short memory we have. No, these are not the best rates in history. That was just three short years ago when the 30-year mortgage interest rate bottomed out at 3.36 percent in the fall of 2012. That was the lowest since long-term rates started in the 1950s. At the same time, the 15-year rate fell to 2.69 percent. Currently, mortgage rates have hovered around 3.75 percent, still a bargain.

Q: How many cellphone towers are located in Stark County?

A: Cellphone towers aren’t just for cellphone signals, but as long as we have that clarified, there are more than 500,000 cellular towers in the United States. According to the FCC, there are 118 registered cellular towers in Stark County. This does not include antennas used by local radio stations. Within a 4-mile radius of Canton, there are 60 towers.

If you have a question you want answered in Ask Todd, send it to asktodd@cantonrep.com, via Twitter @AskToddAbout, or call 330-580-8340.

Where to buy

The Repository
Select Rite Aid Stores
Spee-D Foods
Buehler's Fresh Foods
Fishers Foods, including 44th Street NW, Tuscarawas St. W, Fulton Drive, Lincoln Way E. and Cleveland Ave. NW locations
Aultman Hospital Gift Shop
Mercy Medical Center Gift Shop
Gervasi Vineyard Marketplace
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop, downtown Canton and Belden Village Mall locations
News Depot
Avenue Arts Marketplace
Yum Yum Tree Alliance
Grapes in a Glass