It’s all over but the official certification. The Scioto County Board of Elections will certify the March primary on March 26.
On election night, the returns came in slower than normal because some precincts ran out of ballots and had to be replenished.
“We’re not happy at all because it’s so inconvenient for the poll workers and those that had to wait,” Rodney Barnett of the Scioto County Board of Elections said. “We jumped so much on the percentages. They told us to print five percent more than what we had at the last primary and we ended up printing 20 percent more and still ran short.”
Barnett rounded off the voter turnout at 43 percent compared to 73 percent that voted in the general election four years ago. He said he considers even 73 percent to be low.
“As a teacher, that would be a ‘C’ if you were getting graded,” Barnett, a long time educator, said. “You would like to have 90 percent but that will never ever happen.”
One of the reasons it was hard to gauge the amount of ballots needed was the unusual scenario that this election cycle has turned out to be nationally.
“This was a very unique primary for both sides,” Barnett said. “I think you have two individuals – one from each party – that has really motivated folks to get involved.”
With all precincts reporting statewide the unofficial results show 3,137,109 ballots cast with 41.48 percent turnout – the second highest turnout in a primary election. The record was set in the 2008 Presidential Primary with 3,603,523 ballots cast with 46.04 percent turnout. The 2016 Presidential Primary unofficial results are available at https://vote.ohio.gov/.
Scioto County Republicans broke with the state and gave Donald Trump the nod 50.14 percent to Governor John Kasich’s 31.97 percent. Kasich took the state. Democrats locally joined with the rest of Ohio in voting overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton – 53.72 percent to 44.57 percent for Bernie Sanders.
County boards of elections reported that there are 41,908 outstanding absentee ballots. As a reminder, boards will continue to receive (by mail) all eligible absentee ballots postmarked March 14 or earlier until the 10th day after Election Day, which is March 25. These ballots will be counted at the official canvass. The unofficial absentee results for the Democratic, Green and Republican parties that were reported at the beginning of the night are attached to this email.
Additionally, county boards reported that 68,225 provisional ballots were cast, significantly fewer than the 123,432 cast in the 2008 Presidential Primary. Boards of elections can begin sorting provisional ballots, but they cannot open or count these ballots until the 11th day after Election Day, which is March 26. 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.
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.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.