Polls Close On Time; No Pending Actions Needed To Keep Polls Open
DELAWARE COUNTY, Ohio—The office of Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said the polls have closed as of 7:30 p.m. There were no pending actions to keep polls open past closing.
Earlier, the Delaware County Board of Elections was authorized to keep polling locations open past 7:30 p.m.—if needed – to accommodate people who did not get a chance to vote.
According to the Delaware County Board of Elections, Liberty Township precincts F,I, K and G used to be located in New Hope Church. Precincts F, I and K were moved to Sawmill Covenant Church, and G was moved to Sawmill Baptist Church.
Some voters did not receive notice of the change but apparently others did.
The BOE placed signs and sent staff to Sawmill Covenant Church with information necessary to redirect voters to their proper polling location.
The board also issued a press release and posted information on its website.
In addition, two other polling location changes were involved.
Brown A was moved, but no calls or complaints have been received related to Brown A. Westerville A also was moved from a multi-precinct polling location to the nearby new Westerville Recreation Center. Because there still are precincts at the former polling location, the poll workers have directed the Westerville A voters to the Recreation Center.
STATEMENT FROM OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE JENNIFER BRUNNER
The Secretary of State’s office is instructing the Delaware County Board of Elections to provide bipartisan staff at the former polling locations for which some voters did not get notice of changes, beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
If a voter appears to vote at his or her previous polling location (New Hope Church, Brown A and Westerville A), the bipartisan staff will have a duplicate poll book for the voter to sign and will offer the voter a provisional ballot.
Were the new polling locations to be kept open after 7:30 p.m., these voters appearing to vote after 7:30 p.m. at their correct polling location would be required to vote provisionally under federal law.
While we intend to further review this development and its circumstances with the Delaware County Board of Elections, we believe that this solution best protects the rights of affected voters while preserving a smooth election process for the rest of the state.
If even just one polling location in Ohio is required to remain open past 7:30 p.m., all counties must delay the reporting of results until all polling locations have closed.
MEDIA STATEMENT FROM BOE ELECTIONS CHAIR JEFFREY A. BURKAM
In a few precincts, polling locations have been changed and all of the registered voters in those precincts may not have been notified. We believe the precincts that may be affected are the following: Liberty F, I & K; Liberty G; Brown A; and Westerville A. We will be attempting to determine if a breakdown occurred in our process of notifying voters when a precinct location has to be changed. For now, we are also dispatching election officials to the affected locations to redirect voters to their proper polling place. We have also placed signs prior to the polls opening this morning at the old voting locations telling any voters who would appear at the former location where they should go to vote. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause voters.—Jeffrey A. Burkam, Delaware County Board of Elections Chair