State wants internal investigation into Mahoning County ballot miscount

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A mistake in the ballot count in Mahoning County has prompted a reprimand from the Ohio Secretary of State to Mahoning County election officials.

In a letter dated Nov. 15 from Secretary of State Jon Husted, it was revealed that over 6,000 ballots were double counted and incorrect election results were released to the public and the media.

According to Husted, staff discovered the error and corrected the results, but board of elections’ members and staff didn’t notify the local media and public that the error had occurred and that the unofficial vote totals of the election had changed.

Husted said the error did not impact the result of any contest in the election, but the wrong vote counts were published calling into question the accuracy and credibility of the board’s unofficial results.

 Though the error did not change the outcome of any contest in this election, it is not unusual for a local contest to result in a tie or be decided by one vote, which underscores the importance of ensuring the proper tabulation of votes and reporting of accurate vote totals. –Jon Husted, Ohio Secretary of State

Husted has instructed officials at the Mahoning County Board of Elections to conduct an internal review of the error and why the board failed to report it. He said the report must detail the following:

  • How the tabulation error occurred
  • Steps the board plans to implement to ensure that a similar error is not repeated and that the media and public are notified immediately of any amended unofficial election results.

Husted said he wants a draft of the board’s report in his office by November 28.