County scrutinized after 3 people vote twice due to glitch
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The election board for Ohio’s most populous county is being put under administrative oversight by the secretary of state, after another problem with electronic poll books led to three improperly cast votes in this week’s election.
Not all of Franklin County’s electronic poll books were properly updated on Election Day with data about who had already voted early or requested an absentee ballot, according to Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office. His office has determined three voters were able to vote twice, but said those votes didn’t affect the outcome of any election.
One of those voters told the office they cast a ballot during early voting, then did so again on Election Day while accompanying their spouse to vote because a poll worker indicated the poll book didn’t reflect the earlier vote. The voter said they were worried their first ballot hadn’t been counted.
The Franklin County Board of Elections had another problem last year with some of its electronic poll books not updating, and it didn’t fully follow a remediation plan to avoid the newest problem, LaRose’s office said.
To make sure the board is effectively administering elections, it will now have to report weekly to the secretary of state, according to LaRose’s office.
The county board is working with prosecutors to determine whether criminal charges are warranted, the secretary of state’s office said. It didn’t release further details about the voters.
Unofficial results showed that more than 201,000 people voted in this week’s elections in central Ohio’s Franklin County, home to the state capital Columbus.
Officials said they’re working to determine how many of the county’s electronic poll books weren’t properly updated and why. The secretary of state’s office said it will work with other counties that use electronic poll books to ensure they followed proper procedures, but said there’s no sign the same problem occurred elsewhere.
The Franklin County board is still investigating what happened and how, and is glad to have help from the secretary of state, board spokesperson Aaron Sellers said Friday.
“We’re going to figure it out so that it doesn’t happen again,” Sellers said.