We previously wrote an article about the Lake County Board of Elections changing paper ballots based on the “intent” of the voter. Here is the link to the article:
We asked our readers to take an informal poll to gauge interest in pursuing this matter with the State. To date, we have had only 26 of the total 136 views vote in the poll. Of those who voted, 16 (61.54%) did not like the paper ballots being changed and 10 (38.46%) thought the current procedures of changing the ballot was acceptable. Unfortunately, the sample size is not large enough for us to draw any real conclusion, or take any action on behalf of the citizens.
We did reach out to Ohio’s Secretary of State office and we were politely directed to the Ohio Election Manual that is easily found on-line. It is a rather large manual totaling 388 pages. We printed the pages dealing with the issue of changing the paper ballots and valid absentee ballots.
The Lake County officials were following the procedures as outlined in the Ohio Election’s manual.
The manual does indicate that if the voter intent cannot be determined, then the paper ballot is processed with only those correctly marked by the voter.
We did not realize that absentee ballots received up to 10 days after the close of the election must be counted. Here is the page dealing with that issue.