MEDINA TWP. — “We had a terrific Election Day,” said Carol Lawler, director of the Medina County Board of Elections. “We had pretty good luck uploading the results.”
By 10:04 p.m., the board had uploaded final, unofficial results, she said Wednesday, and employees left around midnight after counting and reporting duties were completed.
The turnout among registered voters in the county Tuesday was 33 percent, or 40,729 ballots, according to unofficial results. Lawler said the figure could change as last-minute mail comes in and provisional ballots are processed.
“As long as mail is postmarked the day before the election, it can be processed in the official results,” she said.
The Nov. 8, 2016, election drew a 75 percent turnout, which Lawler attributed to the presidential race. In November 2015, official results showed the total turnout was 45 percent.
Last year, the final unofficial results were not posted until 1:01 a.m. Nov. 9. Lawler said processing and an overwhelming amount of paper ballots were the cause of slow postings.
“We were scanning paper ballots that came in the mail regularly and keeping up, but the last push of mail that came in with the presidential election is what threw us off,” she said. “It’s always a lot smoother without a presidential race.”
Lawler noted that workers did not change their duties or routines for this year’s election.
“We’re just continuously keeping up with incoming ballots,” she said. “Last year took so much longer because there was such a huge volume of voting that went on. I think the last-minute return of all the paper ballots is what made it slower at the end.”
Additionally, each county’s board of elections is required to report to the secretary of state’s office with results every 15 minutes.
For future elections, Lawler said workers will continue to aim to have all the results scanned, finalized and uploaded by 10 p.m. In the May 2 primary, Lawler said employees had final, unofficial results posted by 9:42 p.m.
“I think we get better at finalizing our results with each election,” Lawler said. “We learn from prior ones and we try to be aware of staying on a schedule of getting everything lined up to finalize.”
Results will be certified 3 p.m. Nov. 28 at the board of elections office, 3800 Stonegate Drive, Suite C, Medina Township.
Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.