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Ohio Secretary Of State Warns Final Election Results Could Take Longer Than Usual

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose briefs reporters on election preparations at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.
Julie Carr Smyth
/
AP
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose briefs reporters on election preparations at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the normal way of doing things in many areas, and Secretary of State Frank LaRose says election night is no exception.

LaRose says the record amount of absentee ballots expected to be cast means outcomes could take longer for races that are too close to call.

Mail-in absentee ballots must be postmarked the day before the election, November 2, and are given up to 10 days to arrive at a local board of elections to count.

"The numbers will change between election night and the final certification," LaRose says. "That's not a sign of something nefarious happening. In fact, quite the contrary. It's a sign that the system is working the way it's supposed to."

He adds that his office will report the number of outstanding absentee ballots so people can have a sense of how close a race still is.

"We've gotten very accustomed to sort of knowing who's going to be the next president before we go to bed on election night. That may not be the case this year," LaRose says. "What I can tell you that in Ohio, we're going to report those results as quickly as we can. But more important than speed is always accuracy."

Each county board of elections will also have a drop box for absentee ballots to be personally delivered.