COLUMBUS – The 2018 General Election is tomorrow, Tuesday, November 6, 2018. Polls across Ohio will be open from 6:30 a.m to 7:30 p.m. Unofficial election results will be available at https://vote.ohio.gov beginning at 7:30 p.m. Absentee ballots cast prior to Election Day will be the first results tabulated and posted to the website following the time when polls close.
Unofficial results will refresh every three minutes and counties have been instructed to follow a reporting schedule for uploading results on election night. Boards of elections may begin their official canvass on the 11th day following Election Day – Saturday, November 17. Canvasses must be completed no later than the 21st day following Election Day – Tuesday, November 27.
The Secretary of State also has the option of setting an expedited schedule for the completion of the official canvass. If an expedited schedule is ordered, the Secretary of State’s office will issue a directive outlining revised dates and deadlines. The procedures and deadlines for the official canvass are the same following every election and established by Title 35 of Ohio Revised Code.
Prior to election officials beginning the official canvass, voters who cast a provisional ballot because they did not provide proper ID at the polls can return to their county board of elections to provide an accepted form of ID so that their ballot may be considered for counting. This must be done by November 13.
Boards will be open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Wednesday, November 7 through Friday, November 9; from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday, November 10; from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sunday, November 11; and from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday, November 12 and Tuesday, November 13. Additionally, boards will continue to receive outstanding absentee ballots and provided they were postmarked by November 5, and received by November 16, they will be eligible to be considered for counting.
Military and overseas ballots are not required to have a postmark to be counted; however, they must be received by November 16. Also prior to the start of the official canvass, board of elections staff will begin to sort provisional ballots, but they cannot be opened or counted. The four appointed members of each board of elections – two Republicans and two Democrats – will determine which provisional ballots are eligible in a public meeting.
Board of elections staff will check to make sure all information required by law has been provided on the provisional ballot envelope, which includes the voters printed name, signature, current address, birthdate, and identification. During the official canvass ALL eligible provisional and absentee ballots cast WILL be counted.
A county-by-county breakdown of outstanding absentee ballots, provisional ballots cast and overall ballots cast is available by going to the unofficial results website, https://vote.ohio.gov/, and clicking on the “Ballots Cast” tab.
Automatic recounts may be triggered if the final margin is equal to or less than a certain margin following the official canvass. Races and automatic recount thresholds are outlined in Ohio Revised Code 3515.011.
Additional Information Official Canvass: Tabulation of all eligible ballots cast that includes absentee, Election Day and provisional ballots. County boards of elections cannot begin this process until November 17 and must have it completed by November 27. This process also involves the validation of the outcomes that form the basis of the official certified results.
Provisional Ballots: Ballots cast by voters whose identity and/or eligibility could not be verified. These are not part of the unofficial canvass on election night.
Absentee Ballots: Includes all ballots cast prior to Election Day outside of Election Day polling locations: Absentee ballots cast by mail; absentee ballots cast in-person prior to Election Day, and military and overseas ballots cast either by mail or in-person prior to Election Day.
Those received by the close of polls on Election Day are tabulated as part of the unofficial canvass on election night.
Outstanding Absentee Ballots: This includes ballots sent to voters but not yet returned and ballots returned with incomplete identification envelopes that the voter may correct in the 7 days following the election. If postmarked by November 5 and received by November 16, these ballots are eligible to be considered for counting as part of the official canvass.