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Official vote count Sunday

Lawrence County’s official canvass of votes from the Nov. 4 general election has been moved from Saturday to Sunday at 1 p.m.

“We moved it to Sunday because one of our board members was going to be out of town on Saturday,” explained Craig Allen, the board director of the Lawrence County Board of Elections.

The board is still well within the time limit set by the state. In Ohio, county board of elections could begin the official canvass no sooner than Saturday and no later than Nov. 22. And the official canvass must be completed on Nov. 28 and turned into the Secretary of State’s office.

The board will be counting absentee ballots and provisional votes, which are votes cast but aren’t considered official until election boards can verify the voter’s eligibility to vote in the particular precinct at that election.

Absentee ballots have to be postmarked on or before Nov. 7 and have 10 days to get to the board of election.

“In the official canvass, the board rules on the provisionals and the late arriving absentees and then those votes are counted and added into the official results from Election Day,” Allen explained.

He said he wouldn’t know how many provisional ballots were cast until Sunday.

“It’s not unusual to have provisional ballots, because people don’t always update their information before the election,” he said. “People get married and don’t change their name at the board. They move and don’t change their address information.”

He said the meeting starts promptly and then takes about an hour or less to rule on the provisionals.

Then all the results are totaled.

“With the computers now, it gets totaled up in the blink of an eye,” Allen said.

The Tribune will have the results of the official canvass in the Monday edition.