Unofficial election night results show Jefferson and Harrison counties had the highest voter turnout for the 2012 presidential election among local counties in Ohio and West Virginia. Jefferson County also was the last of the local counties to complete its ballot count, with final numbers not being reported there until after 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. Election officials blamed a computer glitch and a high number of early absentee ballots for the delay, and Jefferson County Board of Elections members are expected to meet soon to discuss election night issues. Both Jefferson and Harrison counties had voter turnouts of 66 percent.
In Jefferson County, 32,870 of the 49,729 registered voters cast ballots. Included in the vote total were 10,029 absentee ballots, which would not upload into the election board’s computer database on election night, according to Mary Birkheimer, deputy director of elections.
Some of the absentee votes had been cast as paper optical scan ballots, and others were cast on touchscreen machines in the elections office, she said. Poll workers had the tallies for these votes, but the totals had to be merged with the ballots submitted on Election Day.
Election workers spent the night trying to manually load the absentee ballot data and merge it with the votes submitted on Election Day, she said.