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Cleared by the courts, Ohio's provisional ballot count to begin
No difference in the presidential or senatorial contests, but statehouse and local results could change
This story is part of a special series.

Jo Ingles

A federal appeals court has cleared the way and Ohio’s 88 county boards of elections will start counting provisional ballots tomorrow .

That’s the first day allowed by state law.

Matt McClellan is spokesman for the Ohio Secretary of State's office. He notes that provisional ballots are cast when questions are raised at the polls on election day. And the 10-day delay in counting them is to allow boards of elections to verify the information.

MCCLELLAN: Provisional ballots

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MCCLELLAN: Provisional ballots extended version

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“Looking at previous years, the vast majority were people who hadn’t updated their address, didn’t bring i.d. with them, they could have not been registered, may have already voted.  There are a number of reasons why people cast a provisional ballot but I won’t have details on that until counties report their official results.

In all, the state has about 200-thousand provisional ballots. Not all of them will be counted. An appeals court panel today said if voters had made a mistake in filling out their ID’s on the ballots, they’ll be thrown out.

Four years ago, about one-fifth of the provisionals were tossed for a variety of reasons. 

This year's results will not affect either the presidential or senatorial race. But  the results of three Statehouse races and dozens of local levies and contests could change with the provisional counts. 

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