Electronic Snafu Forces Franklin County Polling Places Back To Paper Poll Books
Franklin County election workers are back to paper poll books this morning, after the electronic books failed to update last night.
The Franklin County Board of Elections was unable to integrate the names of voters who cast their ballots on Sunday and Monday into the database. The paper poll book backup prevents people voting twice. The county has used electronic iPads since 2017. While it does not affect how voters cast their ballot or ballot security, it does slow down lines at the polls. Early reports indicate voting is running smoothly around the county.
Board of Elections spokesperson Aaron Sellers says absentee and early in-person voting will be tabulated in the initial rush of counting with Tuesday's voters coming afterward as precinct captains return their ballots to headquarters. Sellers cautions voters to not expect even an unofficial declaration quickly, noting that in 2016 - with fare fewer absentee and early votes - it took until 2 a.m. to announce results. The county expects to have final tallies by November 18th, but has until November 28th to certify results.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose says the state has set a new record for early voting this election season. LaRose said yesterday that three-point-four-million Ohioans had cast ballots early in-person or by absentee ballot, surpassing the previous record by 180 percent. In 2016, under 662-thousand people voted in-person compared to one-point-three-million this year. LaRose's office estimates around 240-thousand absentee ballots have not been returned, although they can be delivered at county drop boxes until 7:30 p.m. tonight.