With presidential primary elections two months away, the U.S. Postal Service has yet to explain why nearly 9 percent of Summit County mail-in ballots were missing postmarks and had to be thrown out. And no one has come up with a solution for the future. The unusually high number of botched ballots led the Summit Board of Elections to subpoena postmasters to a hearing last month. While postal officials skipped the hearing, Ohio Secretary of State John Husted’s office has since taken up the issue statewide. During the last presidential election in 2012, more than one-third of Ohio voters mailed their ballots.
The problem of missing ballots is particularly acute at the local level. In November, of the roughly 1,500 ballots discarded statewide, nearly 900 were thrown away in Summit County.
Husted in December negotiated a solution with the U.S. postmaster general that would have standardized envelope sizes used to mail absentee ballots in the next election. Currently, all 88 counties set their own envelope sizes.