Hamilton County could have 20,000 provisionals

Nov 6, 2012

The chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections said Hamilton County could have had as many as 20,000 provisional ballots cast today, with the majority of them coming from Democratic areas.

"There's no final count, but it could be between 15,000 and 20,000,'' said Tim Burke, who is also chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party.

Combine those Hamilton County provisional ballots - cast by people about whom there was some question on whether or not they were qualified to vote - with tens of thousands of others from around the state, and it could be weeks before the nation knows how Ohio voted in the presidential election.

Election officials have 10 days after the election to determine whether or not they should be included in the final count.

"They tend to be Democratic,'' Burke said. "That could make a big difference."

If Mitt Romney wins the election day vote by a margin smaller than the number of provisional ballots around the state, it could be weeks before a winner in Ohio is declared. And, depending on how the key battleground states go tonight, that potentially means the country will have to wait for a while until they know who the next president will be.