Challenge to the Hamilton County BOE

At somewhere around 7:30 on election night, we saw our first results fron the Hamilton County Board of Elections. They published the absentee ballot count - partial absentee count, that is.

And then...crickets. 8:00, nothing. 8:30, nothing. Around 8:45, I got a call from a friend viewing the results at the BOE, telling me that they said they won't have any new results for another hour (to be fair, they were able to overdeliver - about 9:30 they were able to post votes from 1% or so of the precincts).

Yes, more than two hours after the polls closed, the BOE was practically unable to post vote counts from a precinct. And I don't know how that happens. By my count, this is at least the fifth consecutive election where precinct vote counts seemed to be significantly delayed for no good reason (or at least no explained reason).

I had a conversation with someone knowledgeable about the process, and he gave me an explanation that, if I understand it right, was so shocking to my system that I needed to quickly grab another beer.

I don't know why things seem to move so much slower at our BOE than others around the state/country/world. Maybe it's the speed in which the poll workers get the ballots to the BOE. Maybe it's the vote counting software. Maybe the chairman is spending too much time searching for pictures of Dr. Evil.

Whatever the reason, I'm dumbfounded. So I'm issuing this challenge to the BOE: explain why it's so much tougher to count votes in this town than it is anywhere else. If someone working there can send us an explanation (to of how the whole system works, and what seems to hold up the process, we'll publish it verbatim.

I'd just like to know whether it's worth coming down on election night next year, or if it's better to just stick at the celebration parties for a few hours before worrying about how the actual elections turn out.


CULS ALS said...

A.B. what is the explanation from the "someone knowledgeable about the process" that shocked you to the point of beer grabbing?

A.B. said...

My understanding was, they process the results by ward. And they have to process them in precinct number order, and if one precinct is missing it holds up the entire process (i.e. if there are 20 precincts in a ward, and precinct 5 is outstanding, they can only run through precincts 1-4, and the others have to wait).

I'm sure that's wrong, or that I got a clear explanation and it got filtered through a few beers and came to the understanding I have now. That's why I'd like for someone to give a clear explanation of how the process works, so we can all be educated and appreciate what takes it so long.