LISBON — The Columbiana County Board of Elections has moved the regular meeting to certify the final election results to November 29 at 1:30 pm, which is also when a decision on the Wellsville police fee recount is expected.
The meeting was originally scheduled for today, but was moved due to a death in the family of one of the board members.
On election night, unofficial results showed the additional $5 million continuing police levy failed by just three votes, with 337 voting in favor of the levy and 340 voting against. The percentage was 49.78 percent in favor of the tax and 50.22 percent against the tax.
Once the final count is certified next week, including provisional ballots and any additional absentee ballots that arrived postmarked by the deadline, election officials will know if the issue qualifies for an automatic recount if the margin is within the 1 percent half, Director Kim Fusco explained. Even if the lien does not qualify for a free automatic recount, the town can request a recount.
If a recount is done, he said it will be done on another day, probably at the same time as the official audit when they have to count a percentage of ballots by hand as required by law.
During the regular meeting held Tuesday, board members voted to accept 419 eligible provisional ballots for inclusion in the official canvass when completed. That number includes 12 provisional ballots for voters who cast ballots in the correct polling place but at the wrong polling place. Provisional ballots are cast by registered voters who forgot to update their address, which requires that their ballots not be counted on election night but be put aside for at least 10 days so their registration can be verified.
Fusco said that the issue of “Right Church, Wrong Bank” It happens sometimes, usually by mistake, but he said there is a system in place to catch it. She said it’s not always a poll worker’s mistake.
The board also voted to reject 53 ineligible provisional ballot applications for the following reasons: 31 voters not registered to vote in Columbiana County or the state of Ohio; a voter did not sign the provisional envelope; 17 voters voted in the wrong precinct, which is a fatal flaw; a voter previously cast their ballot; and three did not have a ballot in the provisional envelope.
“These are in black and white, there is no room for discretion”, said board chairman David Johnson.
He asked if poll workers tell people when they are in the wrong precinct, which both Fusco and Deputy Director Bryce Miner said they do. Johnson said they need to stress to the voter that they go to the right constituency or their vote won’t count. Miner said that’s all part of the training.
Fusco further explained the voter who attempted to cast a provisional ballot after having previously cast a ballot, noting that the senior was in a nursing home and voted absentee, then went to a polling place on Election Day.
“I don’t think there’s anything devious about it,” she said.
She said there are policies that will not allow a person to vote again, noting that someone even called the office on Election Day to congratulate them when the person tried to screen poll workers trying to vote again after they issued a absentee ballot. .
“In Columbiana County, you get a ballot,” she said.
The board also rejected 21 absentee ballots, with 16 received too late and an uncounted five due to withdrawal, rejection, deceased voter, or non-delivery. The total number of countable absentee ballots was 8,757.