The “missing ballots” in Ohio’s special election have caused a stir – but analysts said they really aren’t a mystery and often pop up in elections across the country. Under the rush of election nights, voting precinct officials nationwide often misplace ballots or send them to the wrong office. And those ballots are just as often discovered via audits or recounts, analysts said. “It’s not unusual,” said Fred Wertheimer, founder and president of Democracy 21, a watchdog organization based in Washington, D.C. “It’s one of the reasons people do recounts in close races.” Post-election audits also yield uncounted votes, as happened this week in the special election for Ohio’s 12th congressional district.
Officials in Franklin County said Wednesday they had found 588 previously uncounted votes in a Columbus suburb.
And it happened because of human error, insists Franklin County Board of Elections spokesman Aaron Sellers.
When election officials brought two master personal electronic ballots – or PEBs, small devices inserted into voting machines – back to the Franklin County Board of Elections from a Worthington polling location, one was uploaded into the final, unofficial total of a super-tight congressional race.