Among the 37 total provisional votes still outstanding in Highland County in Tuesday’s election, election officials said Wednesday that 14 are in the city of Hillsboro, where just four votes separate the two candidates for city treasurer, and seven are in the 2nd Ward, where just a two-vote margin currently exists between the two council candidates.
Those numbers mean that the outcomes for both the race for city treasurer and the contest for the 2nd Ward could be impacted when provisional votes are considered on Nov. 21.
At the end of election night Tuesday, Democrat Patricia Burns led Republican Amy Robinson by just four votes in the race for city treasurer, while Republican incumbent Claudia Klein led Democrat Jason Burns by just two votes in the race for council member from the 2nd Ward.
In the at-large council race, incumbent Republican Ann Morris led fellow incumbent Republican Tracy Aranyos by 13 votes for the third and final at-large spot. While technically there are enough outstanding provisionals to impact that outcome, such a scenario is more unlikely than in the treasurer and 2nd Ward races.
Provisional ballots are cast when there are issues at the polls about a registration or change of address. Election officials investigate to make sure a voter is legally registered and did not cast a vote at two different locations, along with making sure the voter lives in the correct jurisdiction where they cast their ballot. The outcome of that investigation determines whether the votes will be counted.
Steve Witham, elections administrator for the Highland County Board of Elections, said Wednesday that no contests were close enough to trigger an automatic recount under Ohio law. A race must be within one-half of one percent to qualify. Witham said the city treasurer and 2nd Ward race were “really close” to that mark, but did not reach the required percent.
The outstanding provisional votes as provided by Witham break down as follows.
17-Hillsboro NE 1st Ward (1)
19-Hillsboro NW 2nd Ward (7)
23-Hillsboro SE 3rd Ward (1)
27-Hillsboro SWA 4th Ward (5)
33-Fairfield E (1)
61-Liberty NE (1)
62-Liberty NW (2)
63-Liberty S (1)
73-New Market (1)
76-Paint N (3)
77-Paint SE (1)
78-Paint SW (1)