Local election officials have acknowledged some technical glitches on Election Day, Nov. 5, but otherwise, they said, votes were tallied in an efficient and orderly manner.
The Franklin County Board of Elections used new voting equipment for the first time in the general election, and it resulted in a few snags, said Aaron Sellers, spokesman for the board.
“This is not a perfect science because of the human element,” Sellers said. “Remember the voting equipment we are now using has changed after many years. This was the first full countywide election with it. Because we are the most populous county, we are always waiting for results from other counties.”
When all votes are counted, Franklin County’s results include overlaps from neighboring counties, where applicable. For example, Reynoldsburg primarily is in Franklin County but also extends into Licking and Fairfield counties; Dublin extends into Delaware and Union counties; and Canal Winchester, New Albany and Westerville also extend beyond Franklin County, as do a few other municipalities and school districts.
Sellers referred to the board’s final report that shows 889 precincts.
“We have 884 in Franklin County,” he said. “We count other counties as a precinct so five counties are added into these numbers.”
He also emphasized that results at this phase still are unofficial.
Moreover, he said, posting unofficial results after midnight isn’t unusual. In 2016, unofficial results from the general election weren’t posted until 3 a.m., he said.
In Fairfield County, new voting equipment was put to the test for the second time – the first was in May – this year, said Mary Jane Hanley, director of the board of elections.
“Our morning upload for the (electronic voting machines) took longer than in previous elections but posed no issues,” Hanley said.
Part of the delay in reporting was the result of reconciling the write-in votes if they determine the outcome of the race, and there were two very close races – the mayoral contests in the village of Carroll and Lithopolis, she said.
Otherwise, no problems were reported in getting the ballots to the board, counting or updating the website, Hanley said.
In Delaware County, where new voting machines were deployed in the first “big election,” no problems were reported, said Anthony Saadey, the elections board’s deputy director.
“All of our locations closed up properly and in a timely manner,” Saadey said. “Results uploaded without a hitch. We were out of here by 11 p.m., which is typical.”
All counties reported low voter turnout: Franklin, 183,329 votes (22.96% of registered voters); Fairfield, 22,866 (22.38%); and Delaware, 37,017 votes (26.39%).
As for early and absentee ballots, Franklin County received 21,950 (12% of total votes cast), Fairfield, 4,013 (17.6%); and Delaware, 4,327 (11.7%).
Hanley pointed out that absentee ballots postmarked Nov. 4 or earlier but received later also would be counted.
Boards of elections must certify their results, which include provisional ballots, by Nov. 26.
Races within 1/2 of 1% will trigger an automatic recount after the votes are certified.
Automatic recounts are possible in races for Hilliard, Powell, Reynoldsburg and Worthington city councils. Check ThisWeekNEWS.com for updates regarding possible recounts.
Some areas of Licking and Union counties also are in ThisWeek’s coverage area, but neither reported any problems or delays Nov. 5.