The Hamilton County Board of Elections is investigating difficulties a number of voters faced last week as they sought to weigh in on controversial local and state ballot issues. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted called for the investigation in light of hurdles voters faced Nov. 3. Those problems led to an order to keep polls in the county open an extra hour and a half. While the board’s investigation continues ahead of a Dec. 11 deadline, officials say the county’s new electronic voting system might have played a role. For some in Hamilton County, voting was arduous, with technical glitches forcing voters to cast provisional ballots and imprecise information given by poll workers sending other voters scrambling. At least some of these problems, officials say, were likely caused by a mistake involving an erroneous date entered into the electronic system that left it unable to recognize voters who registered after that date. The difficulties could spell trouble during next year’s sure-to-be-contentious presidential election, where Ohio will play a central role.
… On the night of the election, Husted put the entire state’s election results on hold so the county could extend voting times until 9 p.m. The order for polls to stay open an extra two hours came from Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert P. Ruehlman in response to injunctions from Issue 3-backers ResponsibleOhio and former State Sen. Eric Kerney, who cited long lines at some polling stations.
The appeals to the court came after voters in a number of precincts throughout the county reported that, though they had registered to vote months prior, the new electronic voting system employed by the county did not recognize their names and would not allow them to cast electronic ballots, even if their registration was confirmed by written voter logs. Some were asked to cast provisional ballots or to head to the Hamilton County Board of Elections office downtown.
Jane Pendergrast of Delhi Township reported on Twitter that she had to cast a provisional ballot after her name didn’t show up in the e-poll books. Pendergrast said a poll worker told her the same difficulties had happened to about 50 other voters at the polling location.
Full Article: Officials: Investigation Into Voting Difficulties Underway.