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Ohio, Ky. election boards expecting record volumes of mail-in votes

Ohio's mail-in primary tests voting during virus outbreak
Posted at 2:48 PM, Sep 04, 2020

Ohio and Kentucky election boards are expecting record numbers of mail-in votes, which could take a record amount of time to count.

Absentee ballots, sometimes called mail-in votes, count the same as any cast at the polls.

Ohio rules don’t allow anyone to see results until 7:30 p.m. on election night. Still, once the ballots get to the election boards, they are extremely secure, according to Sherry Poland, director of Hamilton County Board of Elections.

While in-person voters flash IDs and watch as their ballots are scanned, those delivered by mail or dropbox show up in an envelope, which is stuffed inside another envelope. Then, bi-partisan teams begin their process behind double-locked doors.

Julia Carney, director of Clermont County Board of Elections, said staff will then use high-speed ballot scanners.

"We have to have staff to go ahead and open both those sets of envelopes, check the identification, make sure it's correct, and then pull the ballot from the envelope to process it and run it through our ballot counter,” Carney said.

Carney said she is considering doubling her staff to keep up with demand. Election teams could see up to 5,000 absentee ballots an hour.