Assistant Managing Editor
The addition of 44 provisional ballots to Auglaize County election tallies did not change the outcome of any races or issues.
Auglaize County Elections Board Director Carolyn Campbell said they did confirm that there would be an automatic recount for the St. Marys councilor-at-large race between Dan Uhlenhake, who ended up with 590 votes, and Russell Bailey with 583 votes.
Automatic recounts are required based on a formula from the state, if the difference is less than eight votes. The formula also calls for the automatic recounting of races when the results are separated by one-half of 1 percent or less. Prior to the counting of the provisional ballots the two at-large candidates were separated by six votes.
One randomly chosen precinct in St. Marys is to be counted by hand, while the rest are to be verified by a machine count.
The recount has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. next Thursday in the Elections Board Office, in the Auglaize County Administration Building.
The Auglaize County Elections Board reviewed 51 provisional ballots during a regular meeting Wednesday, rejecting seven of them.
“Most of them were OK, they just moved in or out of the county,” Campbell said. “Five people had no ID with them.”
One of the provisional ballots approved was cast by a 17-year-old, who will be 18-years-old by the November election. Her ballot had been placed in the wrong envelope.
Three of the ballots were rejected because the person’s voter registration was cancelled because they had not voted or did not have any correspondence with the Election Board Office during the past four years. After two years of no activity, the Elections Board sends notice to the voter and asks them to confirm an address, Campbell said.
Elections Board Office personnel is working now on mailing out National Change of Address letters to between 4,000 and 5,000 county residents who haven’t voted in the last two federal elections.
The mailing needs to be done every odd year. If residents do not confirm their information or vote within the next two years, their voter registration could be canceled as well.
Those who tried to vote but couldn’t because their registration was cancelled or they weren’t registered anywhere in the state, for which four provisional ballots were rejected, will be registered for the next election, Campbell said.
She said with there no longer being space on the front of a provisional ballot envelope to write why someone was voting provisional, it took guesswork on the part of the office staff, who has to do research, to figure it out in many cases.
“Most of the provisions came from St. Marys, but that’s because most of our voters this election were from St. Marys,” Campbell said.
Board members also voted against approving four absentee ballots because they were postmarked after the May 6 deadline, while another absentee ballot was not approved by the board because it had been marked by a postage meter.
“We can’t use those because they can change the date,” Campbell said. “There is no way of knowing. The state directive says we can’t use them.”
Two absentee ballots mailed back from a local nursing home without an inner identification envelope arrived in time that the nursing home was able to submit the envelopes later and still meet the required deadline.
The Elections Board is continuing to review resumes received for the new director. Campbell retires July 31.