Ohio Primary Day opens with voting problems in Cuyahoga, Lucas counties

[Anna Bauman / Ideastream Public Media]
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Updated Tuesday, May 3, 2020, 3:30pm

In-person voting is underway in Ohio's 88 counties, as Democrats and Republicans pick their candidates for the general election. Today's primary includes races for the U.S. Senate, Governor and Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer and several Ohio Supreme Court seats. There are also local races and questions on the primary ballot.

Voting got underway this morning with some technical issues in Cuyahoga County. According to the county Board of Elections, the electronic poll books that are used to scan and record ballot stub numbers were not automatically recording the stub numbers for the ballots. Poll workers entered the stub numbers manually or recorded the stub numbers on back-up paper poll books. The Board of Elections said the issue did not at any time affect the ability of voters to cast ballots.

Jeanne Gordon voted in Cleveland Heights this morning. She said the confusion did make her a little concerned about whether or not her vote would be counted properly.

"By the time I'd got there, they had kind of figured it out. But it was confusing. They were stressed. It took a significantly longer time than it should," Gordon said.

Meanwhile, voter Michael Herschman said he didn't seem to mind the second trip to polling place after the board of elections said the issues were quickly resolved.

"I'm like, you know what, I'll go back to work and then literally just got back from there about 20 minutes ago and it was smooth sailing. Not a problem," Herschman said.

If anyone was unable to vote as a result of the problem, the Board of Elections asks them to return before the polls close at 7:30pm to cast their ballot.

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 Board of Elections tweeted at 2pm that the vendor error had been corrected and that back procedures had correctly recorded that votest that had been cast.

This is the first of two primaries Ohio will be holding this year. The state will have a separate primary for Ohio House and Senate seats later this year due to delays in adopting new maps approved by the Ohio Redistricting Commission repeatedly ruled unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court.

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