Columbus – Secretary of State Jon Husted has announced that with 100 percent of precincts now reporting, unofficial results show 202,738 ballots cast with 37.23 percent turnout in the 12th Congressional District Special General Election. A detailed breakdown of the unofficial results is available at https://Vote.Ohio.gov/.
County boards of elections reported that 3,435 provisional ballots were cast and there were 5,048 outstanding absentee ballots. Under state law, boards of elections cannot begin counting these ballots until the 11th day after the election, August 18, when boards may begin the official canvass.
“The bipartisan teams of officials who administered today’s special election did so with the professionalism that has become the standard in Ohio,” Secretary Husted said. “This standard of professionalism will be upheld in the coming weeks as election officials begin the process of tabulating provisional and absentee ballots in order to certify the official election results.”
The procedures and deadlines for the official canvass are the same following every election and established by Title 35 of Ohio Revised Code.
Prior to election officials beginning the official canvass, voters who cast a provisional ballot because they did not provide proper ID at the polls can return to their county board of elections to provide an accepted form of ID so that their ballot may be considered for counting. This must be done by August 14.
Additionally, boards will continue to receive outstanding absentee ballots and provided they were postmarked by August 6, and received by August 17, they will be eligible to be counted. Military and overseas ballots are not required to have a postmark to be counted; however, they must be received by August 17.
Also prior to the start of the official canvass, board of elections staff will begin to sort provisional ballots, but they cannot be opened or counted. The four appointed members of each board of elections – two Republicans and two Democrats – will determine which provisional ballots are eligible in a public meeting. Board of elections staff will check to make sure all information required by law has been provided on the provisional ballot envelope, which includes the voters printed name, signature and identification.
During the official canvass ALL eligible provisional and absentee ballots cast WILL be counted.
Once the official canvass has been completed by every county, which must be done by August 24, the most populous county board of elections – Franklin County – will certify the official results. At that point in time, if the result margin is equal to or less than one-half of one percent (.5 percent), an automatic recount is triggered. In a multi-county district race, like the 12th Congressional District, the Secretary of State orders the recount.
A county-by-county breakdown of outstanding absentee ballots, provisional ballots cast and overall ballots cast is available by going to the unofficial results website, https://Vote.Ohio.gov/, and clicking on the "Ballots Cast" tab.
Official Canvass: Tabulation of all eligible ballots cast that includes absentee, Election Day and provisional ballots. County boards of elections cannot begin this process until August 18 and must have it completed by August 24. This process also involves the validation of the outcomes that form the basis of the official certified results.
Provisional Ballots: Ballots cast by voters whose identity and/or eligibility could not be verified. These are not part of the unofficial canvass on election night.
Absentee Ballots: Includes all ballots cast prior to Election Day outside of Election Day polling locations: Absentee ballots cast by mail; absentee ballots cast in-person prior to Election Day, and military and overseas ballots cast either by mail or in-person prior to Election Day. Those received prior to Election Day are tabulated as part of the unofficial canvass on election night.
Outstanding Absentee Ballots: This includes ballots sent to voters but not yet returned and ballots returned with incomplete identification envelopes that the voter may correct in the 10 days following the election. If postmarked by August 6 and received by August 17, these ballots are eligible to become part of the official canvass.