Explaining how absentee and provisional ballots could change the result of the 12th district special election in Ohio

Absentee and provisional ballots could change the result of Ohio's 12th district special election

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The results of Ohio's special election held on Tuesday for the 12th congressional district is currently listed as unofficial by the Ohio Secretary of State website.

As it stands Republican Troy Balderson narrowly defeated Democrat Danny O'Connor in a district that has been largely republican red for almost four decades.

The margin of victory, as it stands right now, is just 1,754 votes.

That number is so close that absentee and provisional ballots could still play a roll in the final total.

Could they change the results? It depends.

According to the Secretary of State there are 3,435 provisional ballots were cast, yet to be counted, and and there were 5,048 outstanding absentee ballots.

Absentee ballots:

Any absentee ballot that was mailed, and received on election day or before was counted and is a part of the unofficial results.

But there are some absentee ballots that are still coming in, for example someone who mailed it on election day.

As long as it has a post mark of Aug. 6 or earlier, will be counted but not until the eleventh day after the election, as set by state law.

If some how most of the 5,048 outstanding all went in favor of O'Connor the results could be flipped.

All absentee ballots mailed by Aug. 6, must be received by Aug. 17 in order to be counted on Aug. 18.

Military members overseas do not need a postmark, but it must be received by the 17th.

Anyone who still has a ballot at home, can not now send it in hoping to impact the results. They will not have the Aug. 6 postmark.

 Provisional ballots:

Anyone who showed up to a polling place on Tuesday and could not provide proper identification was given a provisional ballot.

There are 3,435 outstanding provisional ballots.

A provisional ballot is the same as all others, only when a person is finished voting it goes in a separate envelope.

These will be sorted but can not be opened until Aug. 18.

Anyone who voted with a provisional ballot has until Aug. 14 to get to their county board of election, show proper identification, and get their envelope certified so that it will be opened and counted on Aug. 18.

Official Canvas

All of outstanding ballots described above can not be counted by county officials until August 18 which is called the official canvas.

Once they begin counting them, they have until Aug. 24 to complete.

At that time the most populous county, in this case Franklin County, will have certify the results to make everything official.

If at that time the race is so close, within 0.5 percent, the Secretary of State will have to order a recount.

As it stands now the margin of victory for Balderson is 0.86 percent.

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