Ohio Secretary of State Husted Releases Absentee and Provisional Ballot Reports for 2012 Presidential Election
Record number of absentee ballots cast; More provisional ballots counted than in 2008
Columbus – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today released reports for absentee and provisional ballots cast in the 2012 Presidential Election. These reports show that a record number of absentee ballots, 1.86 million, were cast and counted, and a higher percentage of provisional ballots were counted than in prior presidential elections.
“Efforts to expand voting opportunities and implement policies that ensure more ballots are counted have worked,” Secretary Husted stated.
During the 2012 Presidential Election, more than 1.26 million voters cast an absentee ballot by mail, while more than 600,000 cast an absentee ballot in person – more than 1.86 million overall. In 2008, the total number of absentee ballots cast, both by mail and in person, was roughly 1.74 million. The increase in absentee voting is a result of two key policy changes implemented for the first time by Secretary Husted: 1.) All properly registered voters received an absentee ballot application in the mail; and 2.) Uniform days and hours for in-person absentee voting were established statewide increasing the number of voting hours available to most voters.
Secretary Husted’s office also issued a report on provisional ballots for the 2012 Presidential Election. Of the 208,087 provisional ballots cast this past election, 173,765 (83.5 percent) were counted, up from 166,870 (80 percent) in 2008. Of the 34,322 provisional ballots rejected this year, the vast majority, 20,119 (58.6 percent), were not eligible to be counted because the person was not registered to vote in Ohio. Nearly 40,000 provisional ballots were rejected in 2008.
“Thanks to improvements we made to Ohio’s provisional ballot process and our election system overall, more provisional ballots were counted this year,” Secretary Husted said.
To improve Ohio’s provisional ballot process, Secretary Husted worked with local elections officials and key interest groups to simplify and streamline the provisional ballot envelope. In January 2012, the Secretary of State’s office rolled out a new provisional ballot envelope that asked voters to provide only what it is required under law – printed name, form of identification and signature.
Additionally, Secretary Husted worked to improve the information contained in Ohio’s statewide voter database ahead of the election, which county boards of elections use to verify the identity of a voter and ensure that all eligible votes are counted. Specifically, more than 160,000 deceased voters were verified and removed, more than 300,000 duplicate registrations were cleared and the information contained in the database was bolstered through partnerships with agencies such as the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
“The 2012 Presidential Election ran smoothly and I thank Ohio’s elections officials for their hard work and dedication,” Secretary Husted said. “It is important that we build on the successes we’ve had and continue our work to improve Ohio’s system of elections for the future.”
The official turnout for the 2012 Presidential Election was 5,632,423. The number of registered voters for the 2012 Presidential Election was 7,987,697.
Secretary Husted also released the results for the local issues and races today. A link has been included below.