Thomas Shaw, 4 incumbents, elected to Darke Co. Fair Board


GREENVILLE — Four incumbents will be joined by one new face on the Darke County Fair Board it was announced following Thursday’s election, conducted at the Darke County Fairgrounds.

Current Board Governors Russ Bennett, Richard Delk, Ed Erisman, and Cindy Riffle have all retained their seats on the Darke County Agricultural Society’s Board of Governors and will serve additional three-year terms.

Newcomer Thomas Shaw, of Greenville, will also serve a three-year term, filling a seat vacated by former Governor Matt Aultman, who resigned in January upon taking office as a Darke County Commissioner.

Of the eight candidates running for a three-year term, Delk was the top vote getter with 425 votes. Shaw received 329 votes, followed by Bennett with 325 votes, and Erisman with 319 votes.

Bennett has served on the board for 12 years, Erisman for three years, and Delk for six years.

Falling short in the race for full-term seats were Heidi May (295 votes), Dudley Lipps (282), Craig Bowman (244), and Jerry Bunch (201).

Riffle, running for a one-year term ending 2018, received 406 votes, with challenger David Singer garnering 347 votes. She has served on the board for 15 years.

This year’s election saw the use of voting machines provided by Clear Ballot Group. The Clear Ballot voting system is a hybrid system, utilizing both paper and computer for increased transparency and accuracy. It works by lifting the marks off of paper ballots, and offering a library of images that is lined up by confidence of voter intent, allowing election officials to be sure that the computer tabulation accurately reflects the true intent of each voter.

Darke County Board of Elections Director Luke Burton, at the fairgrounds to observe voting, said he heard mostly positive remarks from voters regarding the process. The Board of Elections is exploring various voting machine options for future use.

“I was very pleasantly surprised with today’s demo of Clear Ballot’s voting equipment. I had comments both for and against the machines which I greatly appreciate. The majority of comments were overwhelmingly positive,” he said.

Burton said he chose to invite Clear Ballot because he was genuinely interested in their system.

“I want to thank Clear Ballot Group for donating their time and equipment to my office and to the Great Darke County Fair,” he added. “The information I gathered today by watching the public’s reaction will go a long way when the time comes to purchase new equipment for the county.”

The Darke County Fair Board will choose its officers in October, with the newly elected or reelected officers taking their seats in November. This year’s Darke County Fair concludes Saturday.

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Thomas Shaw of Greenville has been elected to fill a seat on the Darke County Fair Board. The election saw Shaw, a newcomer, and four incumbents chosen in the election held Thursday. Shaw of Greenville has been elected to fill a seat on the Darke County Fair Board. The election saw Shaw, a newcomer, and four incumbents chosen in the election held Thursday. Facebook photo
Voting equipment tested with eye to future elections

By Erik Martin

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The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to

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