( Hamilton, Ohio ) - The Butler County Board of Elections says hundreds of votes for the spring primary that were cast via mail in time were delivered by the post office too late.
Director Diane Noonan says 317 ballots were delivered on Monday, May 11, and another ballot arrived in the mail on Tuesday. She says she reached out to both the Butler County prosecutor and the Ohio Secretary of State, and both told her that, because of state law, those 318 votes cannot be counted.
House Bill 197 set the procedures for Ohio's March 17 primary that was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. It extended the deadline to April 28 for voters to cast their ballots, and the wording of the legislation says “ballots received by mail at the office of the board after 7:30 p.m. on April 28, 2020, and not later than May 8, 2020, are eligible to be counted if they are postmarked on or before April 27, 2020…"
Noonan says her office talked to the US Postal Service every day last week to ask if there were any ballots that had not yet been delivered, and she says they were told the warehouse had been scoured and nothing had been found.
She says Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is going to contact USPS.
Those ballots aren't allowed to be opened, and therefore the voters who cast them won't know that their vote didn't count.