Paper Ballots in Lake County…determining intent

[Updated: 11/9/20 1:40 pm…We have updated the article to include the portion of the original YouTube video that discusses the paper ballot procedures used by the Elections Board. ]


At the November 5, 2020 Lake County Commissioners’ meeting, the Lake County Elections Board Director, Mr. Ross McDonald, spoke to the Commissioners about the current election. We have previously complimented Mr. McDonald and the entire department for running a very smooth, effective, safe and secure election.

However, there is one item that bothers us. We are not implying, nor should anyone infer that we believe that any shenanigans are going on at the Board of Elections. We are simply questioning the statewide procedure on handling unread paper ballots.

[At the :49 second mark, Mr. McDonald talks about the procedures they use to handle paper ballots.]

We sent the following email to Mr. McDonald:

“I was watching the Commissioner meeting where you spoke about the election. At ~42:08 [this mark applies to the original, complete video on YouTube] you mentioned the paper ballots that cannot be read properly by the machine.  You stated that election officials interpret what the voter meant and then alters the ballot so it can be read by the machine.”

“Although there is a Republican and a Democrat official reviewing the ballot and arriving at a consensus, we were wondering if that is the universal procedure used in the State of Ohio?”

Here is Mr. McDonald’s response:

“The answer is yes. If an elections board did not do these sensitive procedures in a bipartisan way, the officials involved would risk (at a minimum) removal from the elections board.”


We would like to hear from our readers about the procedure being used to change a paper ballot based on the “intent” of the voter. We have created a poll to gauge the readers’ interest in this issue. Your votes are totally anonymous.

Categories: Board of Elections, Community Activism, Lake County, Uncategorized


6 replies

  1. Hello,I am uneasy about this process.  I believe they should not be put in the position of interpreting the intent of a ballot.Tim O’KeeffeSent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What is done if the Republican and Democrat representative cannot agree on the “intent” of the voter?


  3. I bet this does not happen a lot. Are we talking about absentee ballots? I vote in a booth and review my ballot before I pull the trigger. If I were to mail in an absentee ballot and they had a question, why can’t they try to contact me and ask me what my intent is?
    As to why they maybe somehow know an intent, if someone voted straight ticket for a Democrat, I think the intent is obvious. If they did not vote for one person on the ticket, maybe they did not know enough about that position to have an educated guess and decided not to vote for that slot. Anyway, I don’t think anyone should have that authority to guess another person’s intent. goofy. sounds like inviting problems and law breaking.


  4. I think the citizens should petition for a clearer process. Including printing a copy of ballot for voters on voting machines. Also only absentee ballots no mail in ballots. Annual purging of people who are deceased or moved.
    Deadlines for absentee ballots should be clear and the form should be the kind where the votes show through a copy the voter can keep. All military ballots that are received in a timely manner should be counted.



  1. Elections Board Changing Paper Ballots Based on Voter Intent…part 2 – Lobbyists for Citizens

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