The Lucas County Board of Elections will turn over some of its decision-making to staff to speed up the counting of returns in future elections, the board decided Wednesday.
Lucas County was the last Ohio county election board to report 100 percent results from the Nov. 4 election, finishing the election report about 2:33 a.m., Nov. 5, about 20 minutes after the second-to-last county, Montgomery.
Elections Director Gina Kaczala attributed the delay primarily to the board’s decision to individually review 200 paper ballots that were rejected by a poorly functioning scanner machine. Each ballot had to be reviewed and then subjected to a board vote before being turned over to bipartisan staff teams who made and scanned a new paper ballot with the same votes as the flawed ballot.
Ms. Kaczala said the time spent by the board added about 90 minutes to its work on election night.
After the board’s 4-0 decision, in the future only those ballots with ambiguous voter intent will go before the board for a vote.
In other action, the board approved 1,603 provisional ballots cast as valid and 231 provisional ballots as invalid, based on the staff recommendation. The valid ballots will be removed from sealed envelopes, scanned, and added to the count for certification Tuesday.
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