SHEFFIELD TWP. — The Lorain County Board of Elections voted to reject 463 ballots from the Nov. 6 general election.
During a meeting Tuesday afternoon, the board voted to reject 236 of the 25,872 absentee ballots received and 227 of the 2,592 provisional ballots cast. Board of Elections Director Paul Adams said the 236 rejected absentee ballots made up 0.9 percent of the absentee ballots cast, while the 227 provisional ballots made up 8.8 percent of the provisional ballots cast.
The bulk of the rejected absentee ballots was because they weren’y received on time. To be a valid ballot, an absentee ballot must be returned to the Board of Elections office by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day or must be postmarked no later than the day before Election Day and received no later than the 10th day after the election. If the ballot returned by mail doesn’t have a postmark, it must be received by the Board of Elections office no later than 7:30 p.m. Election Day.
Adams said 158 ballots were not received on time and 11 of them did not have a postmark. The other 147 were either postmarked after the deadline or received after the 10-day deadline.
Other reasons absentee ballots were rejected were for not including proper identification, having the stub from the ballot detached, the ballot not being returned with the identification envelope, missing signatures and nonmatching signatures.
There were two ballots the board voted to forward to the Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office to investigate as possible voter fraud.
The majority of the rejected provisional ballots, 169, were rejected because they were cast by provisional voters not registered in Ohio. To vote in the state of Ohio, the voter must be registered to vote 30 days prior to the election.
Other reasons provisional ballots were rejected included voting in the wrong precinct and polling location, failing to provide identification, having already cast a ballot, nonmatching signatures, not providing a date of birth or giving an incorrect date of birth and not giving a valid complete address.
The board voted 3-1 to reject one provisional ballot in which the voter signed their name in a location where they were supposed to print their name. The board members said they disagreed with the law that states the ballot must be rejected, but voted in favor of following the law. The dissenting vote was cast by Anthony Giardini.
The board unanimously voted to send the secretary of state and members of the state Legislature a letter stating the need to change the law.
The Board of Elections will meet again Monday to certify the results of the Nov. 6 election.