Steelman Tells Commissioners Midterm Vote In Hamilton County Dwarfed Prior Elections; Provisional Ballots Also Way Up

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Election Administrator Kerry Steelman told members of the Election Commission on Tuesday that the midterm vote in Hamilton County dwarfed prior showings.

He said the final tally in the early November voting in the county was 134,494. That compares to just 83,193 in the 2014 midterms and 87,810 in 2010.

"The turnout was unprecedented," Mr. Steelman said.

He said at the time of the May voting there were 192,662 registered voters in the county. That was down from 219,708 four years ago. However, by November the total was up to 206,945.

Mr. Steelman said his office ordered a large supply of extra ballots, which contributed to a rise in election costs. The total election expense was $345,114. 

He noted that pay has gone up for election day officials and workers.

Also, a lawsuit brought by state Democrats in the House District 26 race has cost the county almost $16,000.

The administrator said early voting totals continue to rise. For the first time, more county residents voted early than on election day. The margin was 50.55 percent. Almost 68,000 county voters cast early ballots. That is up from around 27,000 in 2014 and 2010. 

Mr. Steelman said the office dealt with many more provisional ballots than before - 462. Just 133 were found to be valid. He said some groups were telling residents to cast a provisional ballot even if they were not registered to vote. Those were thrown out.

Quinton Howard, who long has conducted the audit of county voting, said the stack of provisional ballots was a heavy burden on office workers to check.

 

 


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