The Rundown

Despite glitches, 50K who received faulty ballots will have eligible votes counted, officials say

By: - October 29, 2020 11:57 am

File photo of early voters at the Franklin County Board of Elections to early vote in 2020. Photo by Marty Schladen, Ohio Capital Journal.

There is confusion and anxiety, but the nearly 50,000 Franklin County residents who received faulty absentee ballots will have their votes counted, an elections official said Thursday.

Due to a technical error, 49,669 people received ballots that didn’t accurately represent all of the races in which the voters were eligible to cast ballots, the Franklin County Board of Elections announced earlier this month. In a razor-thin election, that could be a big deal and elections officials raced to send out accurate replacement ballots.

Now some voters are reporting anxiety after submitting either their original or replacement absentee ballots, logging on to the board of elections website and not seeing them in the ballot-tracking system.

There are delays, but the ballots will be counted, Aaron Sellers, a spokesman for the board, said Thursday.

“Those ballots are being segregated and they’re being hand-authenticated,” he said. “That’s delaying counting, but every day the number is going down.”

He said that for voters who submit both original and replacement ballots, the accurate ballot will be counted. For voters who only submit the original, faulty ballot their vote will be counted in all races in which they’re eligible to cast ballots.



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Marty Schladen
Marty Schladen

Marty Schladen has been a reporter for decades, working in Indiana, Texas and other places before returning to his native Ohio to work at The Columbus Dispatch in 2017. He's won state and national journalism awards for investigations into utility regulation, public corruption, the environment, prescription drug spending and other matters.