The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 21, 2013

Final count begins for special election

CONNEAUT —  The official outcome of the May 7 special election should be known by the end of the week.

Ashtabula County’s Board of Elections, at a Monday afternoon meeting, ruled 56 provisional ballots are valid from the May 7 special election are valid and should be added to the votes already in hand. Election workers can now begin matching the provisionals to their respective races.

The board will meet again at 9 a.m. Friday to certify the final results from the spring election. Officials said earlier this month no recounts are expected, although only eight votes separate victory from defeat in the Grand Valley Library’s quest for a 2-mill levy. The measure was approved by a 235-227 margin.

Fifty-nine provisional ballots — votes not cast in the voter’s normal precinct — were collected during the election and studied by the board for their validity. Only three were rejected: Two were received from people simply not registered to vote, while a third came from an Ashtabula woman who switched former and current addresses on the provisional form, board members were told.

The woman’s current address was put in the spot meant for previous address and vice versa, said Carol Lovas, director. Efforts to reach the woman have been unsuccessful, the board was told. She did not respond to a letter and two phone calls to her home, Lovas said.

“She’s had plenty of time to respond,” she said.

The board voted to reject the ballot.

Board members  did approve two provisional ballots from two people who voted at the correct polling place but incorrect precincts within the location after learning poll worker error was the culprit.

Seventy of the county’s 104 precincts offered issues to residents. Some 44,469 voters in those precincts were eligible to vote, but only 7,391 of them (16.6 percent) participated, according to election board records.

Ashtabula County had 64,651 registered voters for the November general election, according to on-line data.

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