Two Very Close Hamilton County Races Could Be Impacted By Counting Of Provisional Ballots

Nov 9, 2016

Denise Driehaus, Dennis Deters
Credit Provided

The final result of two very close Hamilton County races won't be known for about two weeks until nearly 13,000 provisional ballots are counted.

But the results from Tuesday night's unofficial vote count are unlikely to be reversed.

In Tuesday night's unofficial count, Democrat Denise Driehaus defeated Republican Dennis Deters by less than a half percentage point.

In a race for a seat on the First District Court of Appeals, Democrat Marilyn Zayas-Davis narrowly defeated Republican Pete Stautberg.

Hamilton County elections board chairman Tim Burke, who is also chairman of the county Democratic party, said he doesn't expect the results to change because of the provisional ballots, which are most often cast by voters who go to the polls without having updated their voter registration or without the proper identification.

"The provisional ballots tend to be more Democratic than Republican, which will add to the margin in the two of the closest races,'' Burke said.

The vast majority of the provisional ballots will be found to be valid, Burke said.

"We have roughly 13,000 provisional ballots yet to be evaluated,'' Burke said. "If history is any indication, then probably 85 to 90 percent of those will be found to be valid ballots and they will be counted."

The board of elections will begin determining which provisionals are valid votes on November 22 and will certify the final results on November 28.

If, after the final results are certified, there is any race where the candidates are separated by less than half a percentage point, there will be an automatic recount.