MEMORANDUM TO: Members of the Media
FROM: Ohio Secretary of State Communication Team
DATE: April 28, 2020
We wanted to remind reporters about what to expect this evening regarding results.
Unlike previous elections which provided updates from precincts in each county throughout the evening, each of the 88 county boards of elections will provide a single release of results from their county on April 28th. The single release of data is because, unlike previous elections where in-person voting results at individual polling locations was reported intermittently, the vote-by-mail election means ballots come to, are processed by, and tabulated at a single location in each county. These results will include all ballots received and counted through April 28th at 7:30 p.m.
It’s important to remember that voters have until 7:30 p.m. to physically drop off their ballots in the secure drop box located outside of each board office, and that the United States Postal Service is expected to deliver large numbers of ballots today. Boards will begin tabulating these votes after 7:30 p.m. Boards have been directed to upload their results to the Secretary of State’s Office no later than 10:00 p.m. on April 28th. However, the unprecedented nature of this election means that deadline may be unattainable in some cases and those boards will be granted an extension.
We truly appreciate everything you’re doing to accurately communicate to your readers, viewers, and listeners that the results reported on the evening of April 28th are unofficial results. As you know, that it always the case on election night. However, the potential for a higher than usual number of vote by mail ballots that are postmarked by April 27th, but arrive at the board of elections after April 28th, means that the unofficial results may very well change by the next time election results are to be reported by law. The official canvas is completed three weeks after the conclusion of the election and will be released after a review from our office.
Ohio Secretary of State | Press Secretary