LaRose warns election results could be slowed due to mail-in ballots

State News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — With eight weeks until the general election, Secretary of State Frank LaRose gave an update on the state of Ohio’s election. He’s preparing Ohioans to hurry up and wait for results come Nov. 3.

“This year they may be a little more unofficial than usual, because we know that we’re going to see a record number of absentee ballots,” LaRose said.

Ohio expects a record number of voters to use an absentee ballot, some of whom will be mailing them. In Ohio, when a ballot is postmarked by November 2 and arrives at the board of elections within ten days, it will be counted. Those ballots will not be a part of the “unofficial” results that are released late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. Instead, those ballots will be in the “official” results released after the canvas.

“The numbers will change between election night and the final certification. That’s not a sign of something nefarious happening,” LaRose said. “In fact, quite the contrary: it’s a sign that the system is working the way it’s supposed to.” 

This year, for the first time, LaRose will release the number of uncounted absentee ballots along with the unofficial results. A tight race could leave Ohioans without answers for weeks.

“The old elections official’s prayer is, ‘Lord, whoever wins, let them win big,'” she said.

The Franklin County Board of Elections received thousands of absentee ballot request forms during Labor Day weekend.

“We’re at levels we’ve just never seen before as far as voters that are requesting ballots,” said Aaron Sellers, public information officer at Franklin County Board of Elections.

The board, along with LaRose, urges everyone to send their request sooner rather than later and to not send duplicates. 

“We’re seeing a lot of requests coming in and that’s a good thing,” said LaRose. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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