SHEFFIELD TWP. — The Lorain County Board of Elections voted to reject a total of 76 absentee and provisional ballots from the Nov. 7 general election. Whether those will have any effect on the outcome of any of the races, though, won’t be known until Monday when the board certifies the election results.
During a meeting Tuesday, the board rejected 34 of the 4,692 absentee ballots and 42 of the 655 provisional ballots received for the general election.
The rejected absentee ballots, which made up 0.7 percent of the total absentee ballots received, were rejected for reasons such as not including proper identification, having the stub detached from the ballot or not being returned in time, according to Board of Elections Director Paul Adams.
The provisional ballots that were rejected were 6.4 percent of the total received and were rejected for reasons such as the voter not being registered in the state, voters who voted in the wrong precinct and polling location and voters who already cast a ballot.
The board did not believe any of the rejected ballots were intentionally fraudulent.
It is unknown whether the rejected votes will change the results of any of the elections.
Sheffield Township Trustee Timothy Mihalcik — who lost his re-election bid by four votes, according to the unofficial results — was in attendance at the meeting and asked the board if it knew whether or not he made up the votes needed for re-election. Board chair Marilyn Jacobcik told Mihalcik that the easy answer was no, they didn’t.
Board member Anthony Giardini said there is a reason for that.
“When we voted on all these provisional ballots, I don’t even know what city the provisional ballots are from,” Giardini said. “We do that on purpose so that our votes on these issues aren’t influenced in any way, shape or form of who they might help or not help. We vote them blindly.”
Mihalcik finished third behind Ted Adkins in the election for Sheffield Township trustee, 21.81 percent to 21.48 percent, according to the unofficial results. Voters were asked to pick two candidates in the election, with Chad Parsons getting the most votes, with 30.62 percent.
An automatic recount is triggered by the difference in votes being less than one half of one percent.
The Board of Elections will meet 3 p.m. Monday to certify the election results.