Ohio's elections chief is ordering new procedures for mailed absentee ballots after some weren't counted last year because of missing postmarks.
In a directive Friday, Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted says that in lieu of postmarks, local elections boards can check fluorescent barcodes to determine when the post office processed the envelopes. Boards need scanners to read those barcodes. The state plans to buy 10 scanners that boards could use. Husted's office says it doesn't anticipate all 88 counties would need them. Under Ohio law, absentee ballots received after Election Day can only be counted if they are postmarked by the day before the election. About 1,500 ballots across Ohio lacked a postmark last fall and weren't counted. Most were in Summit County.