Ohioans cast a record number of absentee ballots in last year’s presidential election, according to a new report that also found more provisional ballots were cast in November compared to four years ago. More than 1.86 million absentee ballots and 208,087 provisional ballots were cast in Ohio in the Nov. 6 election, according to the secretary of state’s report released today. About 17 percent, or 34,322, of the provisional ballots cast were rejected. Nearly 60 percent of the rejected ballots were ineligible because the voter was not registered in Ohio, the report said.
Although the number of provisional ballots cast in November increased slightly – up from 206,859 cast in 2008 – Secretary of State Jon Husted said he was pleased a higher percentage of provisionals were counted. About 40,000 provisionals were rejected four years ago.
“Thanks to improvements we made to Ohio’s provisional ballot process and our election system overall, more provisional ballots were counted this year,” Husted, a Republican, said in a statement.
Provisional ballots are given to voters whose eligibility is in question at the polls.
Before the presidential election, Husted set new rules for counting provisional ballots. Democrats and voting rights groups objected to the changes. Husted’s rules were challenged in court but ultimately they were used for counting Ohio’s provisional ballots.