by Kevin Osborne
Public is invited to observe the process
Anyone who wants to observe
the processing of provisional ballots in a disputed 2010 election is being
invited to attend as the work is completed this week.
Officials with the Hamilton
County Board of Elections have announced the processing will occur today,
Thursday and Friday. A total of 286 provisional ballots are being tallied in a
Juvenile Court judge race, in compliance with a recent order from a federal
The ballots are being counted
today until 4 p.m., as well as from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday, and from 10:30
a.m. until the work is completed on Friday. The board’s offices are located on
the third floor at 824 Broadway Ave., downtown.
Also, the Board of Elections
will hold special meetings this week. Both will occur Friday; one at 10 a.m.,
the other at 4:30 p.m. Board members will discuss “pending litigation” related
to the Hunter-Williams race.
Earlier this month a federal
appeals court upheld a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Dlott that 286
provisional ballots should be tallied in the 2010 race between Democrat Tracie
Hunter and Republican John Williams.
Hunter seemingly lost by just
23 votes out of nearly 230,000 ballots cast by county voters, but 286 ballots
weren't counted because they were cast by people who showed up to vote at the
correct polling place but were misdirected by poll workers and voted at the
wrong precinct table.
Hunter filed a lawsuit in
federal court alleging the ballots should be counted. Dlott had ordered the
local Board of Elections to precisely determine how many ballots weren’t
counted due to poll worker error, before she decided. That’s when local
Republicans appealed the order.
Williams alleged poll workers correctly followed Ohio law and excluded the
ballots, and that they shouldn’t be tallied. The GOP tried to get the U.S.
Supreme Court to weigh in on the matter, but it declined to hear the case in
April 2011. That put the matter back in Dlott’s court.
Since the dispute began, Williams was appointed to another vacant Juvenile
Court judgeship in November 2011.