Ohio Starts Counting Absentee and Provisional Ballots — But Where, When, and Who’s Counting?

By:  Kurt Hyde
11/19/2012
       
Ohio Starts Counting Absentee and Provisional Ballots — But Where, When, and Who’s Counting?

Election officials in Ohio were scheduled to begin counting absentee ballots and provisional ballots on Saturday, November 17, 2012, but they haven't been forthcoming about when or where the votes were to take place, which is a serious problem.

Election officials in Ohio were scheduled to begin counting absentee ballots and provisional ballots on Saturday, November 17, 2012. Despite numerous requests, The New American was unable to learn of even one exact location, date, and time of when and where these ballots were to be counted. Ohio officials are definitely not making it easy for election observers to participate in the process. And there could be good reason — on their part — for this reticence. Because the count could make a difference in election results — and maybe even highlight the likelihood of fraud.

Were Some Winners Declared Prematurely?
As of November 16, there were at least 324,462 ballots yet to be counted in Ohio — 119,535 absentee ballots and 204,927 provisional ballots. The pluralities of the two biggest contests on the ballot in Ohio this year were:

President

Barack Obama — 2,690,841 50.18%
Mitt Romney — 2,583,582 48.18%
Plurality — 107,259

U.S. Senate

Sherrod Brown — 2,640,251 50.37%
Josh Mandel — 2,361,542 45.05%
Plurality — 278,709

It’s highly unlikely that the winner of the U.S. Senate contest between incumbent Sherrod Brown and challenger Josh Mandel will change. Brown holds a 278,709 vote plurality. Mandel would need almost 93 percent of the not-yet-counted votes to win. The presidential contest is closer with Governor Romney currently trailing President Obama by 107,259 votes. That means Romney would need about 67 percent of the not-yet-counted votes to be the winner.

The winners aren’t likely to change after the absentee ballots and provisional ballots are counted, but whatever happened to the principle of not declaring a winner until the vote count got to the point where the plurality exceeded the total number of votes still uncounted? And why were there over 200,000 provisional ballots in Ohio this election?

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