Franklin County tossed out about a dozen voters’ ballots that should have been counted, elections board Director William Anthony testified in a federal trial in Columbus that could change how Ohio conducts its elections. Anthony’s concession that valid 2014 votes were not tabulated is merely the tip of the iceberg of problems plaguing Ohio’s vote-counting procedures since the GOP-dominated legislature passed and Gov. John Kasich signed a pair of laws that year dealing with absentee and provisional ballots, the groups pressing the federal lawsuit contend. During an extended period on the witness stand this week, Anthony, who also is chairman of the county Democratic Party, was shown ballot after ballot that he acknowledged should have at least been further examined by county elections officials before being cast aside.
After going through the series of what he said were wrongly discarded ballots, Anthony remarked to the attorney questioning him, “You showed me 11 of them, or nine of them, that should have been counted or should at least have been reviewed. That’s not acceptable.”
Much of the problem stems from inconsistencies in how ballots are handled throughout the state.
Caroline Gentry, who represents the Northeast Coalition for the Homeless and the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless, said: “We will present evidence from more than 20 boards of elections involving thousands of voters, and that evidence will show that in a number of respects, boards take very different approaches to specific types of errors and omissions. So a voter that makes a mistake in one county might still have that ballot counted. If they were in another county, the ballot would be thrown out.”