COLUMBUS - Today, Ohio Secretary of State issued a directive to Ohio’s county board of elections that outlines how and when county boards of elections must report election results for the 2020 General Election. Under Directive 2020-23, and consistent with state law, results will only be released twice – once when the county boards of elections upload their unofficial results to the Secretary of State’s Office and again after each county completes its official canvass results and are certified by the Ohio Secretary of State. The directive also sets into place requirements for recounts, post-election ballot curing, post-election audits, and more.
After the polls close, boards will be required to report the number of absentee ballots that were issued but not returned by the close of polls on November 3, 2020, as well as the total number of provisional ballots issued on Election Day and during early in-person voting. The Secretary of State’s election night reporting website will highlight this data to underscore the fact that the election night results are never final as there are still outstanding absentee and provisional ballots that could impact the outcome of a race. This new addition to the website allows voters to be well-informed and can help prevent candidates and media from calling races before they should. Secretary LaRose spoke about this important addition here: twitter.com/FrankLaRose/status/1316492802440736780
County boards of elections must be open to the public on each of the seven calendar days following the election to allow voters to resolve any issues with their absentee ballot. For the first time in a general election, every county board of elections must attempt to contact any individual who has an issue with their absentee ballot by phone or e-mail (if one is provided by the voter), as well as by mail. This allows for a speedier resolution to the voter’s problem.
Counties are directed to begin their official canvass of election results beginning November 14th and complete it by 2:00 p.m. on November 18, 2020 The Ohio Secretary of State will issue his official certification of the election following reconciliation and a review of the official canvass.