Yamiah Davis was excited to vote in her first presidential election last fall. The 21-year-old Avondale woman mailed in her early ballot in October, but then realized she had forgotten to include a form. “I was excited to have my voice count,” Davis said. “When I realized what I did I thought, ‘Crap, my vote didn’t count.’ ” So, she said, she went to her polling location on Election Day and explained what happened. They told her to cast a provisional ballot, she said. Now, she could face prosecution and wonders: “Am I going to jail?” She and dozens of others – people who voted early by mail or in person at the Board of Elections, then cast a provisional ballot on Election Day – could face felony prosecution.
Hamilton County Board of Elections officials will discuss the issue at today’s meeting. At stake: the integrity of the election system in one of the counties most watched in any presidential election.
Hamilton County’s prosecutor – unlike their counterparts in Cuyahoga County – said they have to review every instance in which voters tried to cast two ballots. In fact, county prosecutors say, under the law the voter’s intentions don’t matter.
None of the second votes were counted.
An Enquirer review found the voters cast ballots on Election Day as a precaution, worried their absentee ballot didn’t arrive in time, didn’t have enough postage, or wasn’t completed properly.