LaRose: Today’s election results will be ‘accurate, but incomplete’

By: - November 3, 2020 3:13 pm

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose updates reporters on Election Day.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Tuesday afternoon that voting had gone “smoothly” throughout most of the state to that point, and emphasized high early vote turnout headed into the 2020 General Election Day. 

Briefing reporters at the Ohio Statehouse, LaRose outlined the state’s plan for reporting results this evening. He noted tonight will be “an accurate, but incomplete number” — with the final totals to come in a few weeks’ time. 

Polls close at 7:30 p.m. After that, the state will announce results for the 3.4 million votes cast early in-person, by mail and through drop box. Over the course of tonight, results from the nearly 4,000 polling places will trickle in as normal. 

From there, the state will update on the number of outstanding absentee ballots. These are ballots requested by voters that have not been received by boards of elections as of today. 

The postmark deadline to have voted by mail was Monday. Elections offices can receive ballots through Nov. 13, so it’s anticipated there will be some remaining votes still to be counted after tonight. 

LaRose said his office was “very happy to see” that millions of Ohioans voted early, and called the milestone of 8 million voters registered in Ohio “another big success story.”

He outlined individual problems seen in certain counties and precincts throughout the state, noting these were unique situations and that most polling places have experienced no issues today.

Among the problems reported:

  • The Franklin County Board of Elections switched to paper voter check-in early this morning after officials discovered the electronic pollbooks were not uploading voter data correctly. LaRose said this has led to longer wait times in some polling places but that there’s no issue with the integrity of these ballots cast.
  • Voter machines went down in a Greene County polling place, but the equipment’s vender was able to fix them and they are back up and running.
  • A woman drove her car into a Miami County polling place, but reportedly no one was injured in the crash. LaRose said the person was able to cast their ballot before leaving the scene. 

LaRose emphasized numerous times that “every legally cast ballot will be counted” in Ohio and dismissed concerns that President Donald Trump or any other candidate would prematurely declare victory tonight. 

“What I’ll do is point to the facts,” LaRose said, pointing to his website that will offer live results tonight.

The website will offer updated counts of outstanding absentee votes plus not-yet-counted provisional votes cast at polling places on Tuesday. If the margin between candidates is larger than the number of ballots still to be counted, LaRose pointed out, any declaration will be easy to disregard. 

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Tyler Buchanan
Tyler Buchanan

Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.