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Absentee Ballot Count to Begin Shortly After Midnight Nov. 7

Thursday, October 26, 2006 at 2:09 PM

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Cuyahoga County's Election Board says they will start counting a record number of absentee ballots at 12:01 on the morning of Election Day. The board had originally asked to start scanning the ballots earlier. ideastream's Mhari Saito reports.

Cuyahoga County elections chief Michael Vu had joined other election officials around the state in asking the Secretary of State’s office to scan absentee ballots early. They said the votes would be stored and not counted until election day. State law doesn’t allow absentee ballots to be counted early. Vu says he still hasn’t heard from the Secretary of State, and time’s running short. So he says his staff and 60 optical scanners will start scanning an expected 100,000 ballots at 12:01 AM November 7th.

Michael Vu: We have tested - I think we’re on our 7th test now - of our absentee ballots and everything is a green light and a thumbs up as far as our ability to count these ballots.

Vu says results could come between 3 and 7 PM on election day - though if there are more than 100,000 absentee ballots, Vu says the count will take longer. Problems in the May primary delayed the county’s vote count and led to the board to encourage the public to vote absentee. Mhari Saito, 90.3.

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