Julia Gearheart can exhale. There was much more that went into preparation for this general election than most of us will know. The truth is – this election started long before most others, and with new systems, new security in place, Gearheart, director of the Scioto County Board of Elections, had to keep up with the changes and implement them in time to pull off an election, and she and her staff did just that.
“Everything went very smoothly,” Gearheart told the Daily Times. “It went very quickly and smoothly. It was very good.”
Gearheart said the evening went off without a hitch and there were no problems at any of the 77 polling places in the county.
When the voting ended, 69.99 percent of registered voters in Scioto County had voted. Of the 46,386 eligible voters, 30,324 went to the polls to have their voice heard.
Those numbers are not final yet.
“We’re just now getting into the provisional envelopes,” Gearheart said. “So I don’t have provisional numbers. I probably won’t have those ‘til probably Monday (Nov. 14).”
According to the Secretary of State’s website, Scioto County has 942 provisional ballots. That site also reports there are 434 outstanding absentee ballots.
Additionally, combined county boards of elections reported that 157,843 provisional ballots were cast. State law does not allow these ballots to be counted until 10 days after the election. Voters who cast a provisional ballot because they were not able to provide proper ID at the polls may return to their county board of elections within seven days of Election Day to provide an accepted form of ID to have their ballot counted.
Gearheart said the board will meet on Nov. 22 for the official count. That is when all the numbers become official and where they tie up any loose ends.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.