A data-entry error is responsible for election officials believing that voters at a polling location in northwestern Franklin County cast an abnormally large percentage of provisional ballots in November. On Monday, The Dispatch reported that almost a month after the election, county board of elections officials had not been able to explain why almost 1 in every 3 votes cast at a polling location in Washington Township were provisional ballots. In fact, just 1 in every 20 votes cast there was by provisional ballot, elections officials said yesterday.
The Dispatch asked about the unusually high rate of provisional voting after analyzing numbers that the board provided shortly after Election Day. Last week, the board confirmed to the newspaper that 153 provisional ballots were cast at the polling place out of 483 total votes.
The board revised that number yesterday, saying that human error is to blame. The board sent 175 paper provisional ballots to the polling place: Voters used 22, and 153 were returned unused. When elections workers reported the provisional-ballot totals, someone transposed the two numbers. Instead of a 32 percent rate of provisional voting, the Washington Township location actually had a rate below5 percent, in line with the county average.