Scioto County Board of Elections Director Julia Gearheart says people are voting absentee in record numbers. Against a backdrop of people lined up into the rotunda of the Scioto County Courthouse, Gearheart, Deputy Director Teresa Knittel as well as the rest of the staff, were working to make sure everyone received proper instructions and got the chance to vote.
“(Counting) nursing homes and everything else, a total of 9,716 absentees so far,” Gearheart said Monday afternoon. Those numbers were made up of several totals.
“In office, we have voted 4,309 so far. That’s not including any of our provisionals,” Gearheart said. “We’ve mailed out 5,078. We’ve had 51 hand-carry.”
The long lines have been coming for several days.
“We were very busy for Sunday voting,” Gearheart said. “We were open last Sunday and this Sunday and we were busier this Sunday than the Sunday before.”
Gearheart said 345 have voted in-office absentee on Monday, and at 2 p.m., there was still a line out the door. The line was stopped at 2.
“So when we process those, everybody that’s in line will get to vote,” Gearheart said.
In-office voting was to end Monday at 4:30 p.m. On election night, when the polls close at 7:30 p.m., the absentee votes will be counted first, then those numbers will be sent to the office of Secretary of State Jon Husted.
In the Oct. 27 edition of the Daily Times, Gearheart said after the polls close, the memory cards are brought back to the board and they are uploaded to their server, while the voted ballots get put into a vault which contains cubby holes for each precinct.
“If we have unscanned ballots, we have to take that memory card and we have to wait, and if we find something wrong with the ballot, like it’s ripped or something, we have to create another ballot. We print another ballot, and then the board members (one from each party) will get together and they will remake that ballot,” Gearheart said.
Once the USB has been uploaded to the server, it is taken to the Secretary of State computer and sent to that office. Once the USB is taken out of the server it can never be put back into the server. The server is never online. Reports are sent to Husted’s office throughout the evening.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.