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Franklin County Keeps Counting Ballots As Two Races Hang In The Balance

Voters waiting more than two hours to cast a ballot during the final weekend of early voting in Ohio on Sunday, November 1 at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus.
Karen Kasler
/
Ohio Public Radio
Voters waiting more than two hours to cast a ballot during the final weekend of early voting in Ohio on Sunday, November 1 at the Franklin County Board of Elections in Columbus.

The 2020 election is mostly over, but ballots are still being counted in Ohio. This year's record number of absentee ballots means the Franklin County Board of Elections is still tallying up votes, which could potentially decide some races.

Board spokesman Aaron Sellers says that there are about 17,000 absentee ballots that have yet to come into the board’s office. As long as they’re postmarked by November 2, they have until Friday to arrive.

There are also 20,000 provisional ballots – which are cast by voters if there's questions about their eligibility or voter ID – to verify and count.

“We’re just making sure that whatever the issue that made them a provisional voter is resolved,” Sellers says.

With the possibility of adding 37,000 more votes to the final tally, the outcome of two local races is not yet decided: the Ohio Senate contest between Republican state Sen. Stephanie Kunze and Democrat Crystal Lett, and the Gahanna tax package.

“The 16 Senate race as well as the school levy issue in Gahanna are very close races,” Sellers says. “If nothing changed between now and Election Day, this would be within the half-percent, which would guarantee an automatic recount.”

If needed, the recount would most likely happen in the last week of November.