The Rundown

Few tight races in Ohio, but ballots still to be counted

By: - November 11, 2022 4:50 am

A ballot counter machine. (Photo by Graham Stokes for the Ohio Capital Journal. Republish photo only with original story.)

Most races in Ohio have enough votes to make them definitive (though election results are still unofficial), but for any races that might be close enough, there are still some ballots to be counted.

As state law dictates, if a voter goes to a polling place on election day, but their eligibility is in question, a voter can vote via a provisional ballot. Those provisional ballots are set aside from the rest of election-day ballots while the voter’s eligibility is verified.

The state currently has 85,585 provisional ballots, according to data from the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office. The results of the provisionals are typically released after the local board of elections determines the voter’s eligibility or 11 days after the election, whichever comes first, Ohio law states.

In Franklin County alone, there are more than 13,000 provisionals awaiting release, where the Ohio House race for District 5 shows the incumbent, Democrat Richard Brown, down by 96 votes to GOP challenger Ronald Beach IV.

Ohio law also directs county boards of election to conduct a recount in any district, county, or municipal race where votes cast for a candidate don’t exceed the votes for other candidates by more than 0.5% of the total.

Absentee ballots are also still eligible if they were postmarked by Nov. 7, the day before Election Day. The Secretary of State’s Office shows nearly 96,000 absentee ballots outstanding, though those could include ballot requests that were never sent back.

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Susan Tebben
Susan Tebben

Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.

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