Secretary of State responds to Mahoning voting count snafu       - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Secretary of State responds to Mahoning voting count snafu

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Ohio's voting watchdog, the Secretary of State has responded to a snafu that meant thousands of votes were tallied twice in Mahoning County earlier this month. 

Last week, Deputy Director of the Mahoning County Board of Elections Thomas McCabe said that some initial reports of "unofficial final" numbers may have been wrong as reported by the media. 

That's because of a snafu that double counted more than 6,000 votes on election night. 

According to McCabe, two poll workers were using a scanning machine that hadn't been reset. 

A last minute box of 18 "curbside" votes (votes in which a person is physically unable to get out of the car is allowed to vote via paper ballot). 

When the poll workers put in the results of the 18 curbside votes it caused approximately 6,000 votes that hadn't been reset to get counted again. 

The 6,000 votes were spread throughout the county and McCabe said the mixup did not change the results of any of the races. 

On Wednesday, Secretary of State Jon Husted sent a letter to the Mahoning County Board of Elections demanding that the Board immediately begin a complete internal review of the miscount, and how it was handled. 

A portion of the letter reads that as a result of the board's error, "As a result, the local newspaper published the wrong vote totals for all of the contests in Mahoning County,
inadvertently misleading the electorate and calling into question the accuracy and credibility of the board's unofficial canvass."

Local media was not alerted to the snafu on the night of the election. In addition, no release was sent out in the following days. 

The Board of Elections has until November 28th to file a complete report with the Secretary of State's Office, including plans on how to stop the same mistake from happening again. 

The full text of Husted's letter can be read below. 


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