Voters have done their part, and now it falls to the Ashtabula County Board of Elections to certify the results of Tuesday’s election.
There were 1,030 provisional ballots cast in the election, and Board of Elections Deputy Director John Mead hopes the counting of those ballots will be finished by Friday, he said.
There are also 1,122 absentee ballots that have not been returned to the Board of Elections, Mead said. If the ballots were mailed on Nov. 2 or earlier, they have until Friday to arrive at the BOE office in Jefferson to be counted.
“We are aiming to certify this election on the ... 18th of November,” Mead said. “From what I understand, that’s a lot easier said than done, but we can do it. We got a great team here. All hands on deck is what we do when we have deadlines like this imposed by the Secretary of State.”
Ashtabula County had 71-percent voter turnout in Tuesday’s election, according to preliminary results. That is about two percent better than turnout for the 2016 presidential election, according to Board of Elections records.
Preliminary results show 43,669 people voted in Ashtabula County in the election.
Mead said that,for the most part, counting the votes went pretty well on Tuesday night.
There was a little unplanned excitement on election night, Mead said.
“This one is going to go in the textbooks,” he said.
A voter turned off one of the machines in a Lenox Township polling place because he was the last voter there, Mead said.
“Similar to spiking a football when you make a touchdown,” Mead said.
Mead said that spiking a ball is harmless, but powering off the machine was not. Mead said Board of Elections Director Charlie Frye visited the polling location and was able to solve the issue.
“The moral of this story, people: don’t touch those machines,” Mead said. “Leave them to the professionals. This isn’t a football, this isn’t a toy.”
The staff is well-trained enough to be able to solve the problem, Mead said.
Election results were a little slower in coming from Ashtabula County than the surrounding counties due to the county’s size, Mead said. Ashtabula County is the largest county in the state of Ohio.
It takes time for precincts in Ashtabula and Conneaut to consolidate and bring their results to the board office in Jefferson, Mead said. Both Geauga and Trumbull counties released their preliminary vote counts before 10 p.m. on election night, according to their websites, while Ashtabula County’s results were not released until 10:40 p.m.