Lucas County BOE Blames Vendor for Ballot Screw-Up

Election technology has become so complex that county Boards of Election can’t verify whether ballots are correct. All voting systems must be verified prior to election day.


Lucas County mixup
In Lucas County, WTOL-TV in Toledo was reporting polling locations were having issues with voting machines earlier this morning. GOP voters were only seeing Democrat candidates on their ballot, and Democrat voters were only seeing GOP candidates. The Lucas County Board of Elections released a statement on Twitter blaming a vendor error that resulted in the printing of incorrect barcodes on ballot cards. The board said that poll workers were made aware of the issue and followed correct backup procedures.

The Ohio Revised Code, Section 3505.14 Printed proofs of ballot states the following:

After the letting of the contract for the printing of the ballots as provided in section 3505.13 of the Revised Code, the board of elections shall secure from the printer printed proofs of the ballot, and shall notify the chairman of the local executive committee of each party or group represented on the ballot by candidates or issues, and post such proofs in a public place in the office of the board for a period of at least twenty-four hours for inspection and correction of any errors appearing thereon. The board shall cause such proofs to be read with care and after correcting any errors shall return the corrected copy to the printer.

The Secretary of State’s Election Official Manual specifies the following procedure for checking ballots:

Each board of elections must thoroughly and promptly check every detail of its ballots upon creation of the ballot and prior to submitting the ballot files to the printer to be produced. The board must also proof the ballot upon receiving any ballot layouts or proofs from the vendor, including the accessible ballot each board must provide upon receipt of a properly completed application.
At a minimum, the director and deputy director, or a bipartisan team of board employees they designate, must proofread every candidate contest and ballot question or issue for every ballot style.

If the county Board of Elections and board workers are unable to thoroughly proof the ballot because of the use of technology it’s just another opportunity for a nefarious actor to leverage.