No outcomes were even close to being changed from the initial results—because there were a total of just 13 provisional ballots.
Provisional ballots are set aside, for various reasons—like a failure to show adequate ID, lack of voter registration, or trying to vote in the wrong polling location. Setting ballots aside means they’re not a part of the initial election vote totals, but could be added after their eventual adjudication by the election board.
Provisional ballots are adjudicated 10 days after the election. On Friday, 10 provisional ballots were rejected by the Monroe County election board.
The Monroe County Democratic Party will petition the Indiana state election division for a recount of votes in the state house representative District 62 race, which was won by Republican Dave Hall over Democrat Penny Githens.
The news release cites the 40-vote margin as the reason for the recount request.
MCDP chair David Henry is quoted in the release saying, “In such extremely close races, a recount is simply about exercising our candidate’s rights under the law, and crossing every t, and dotting every i.”
On Friday, at one minute after 12 p.m., at the Election Central building at Madison and 7th streets, Monroe County’s three-member election board will convene a meeting to review the provisional ballots cast in the Nov. 8 general election.
Election officials have told The B Square that for this year’s general election there are well over 100 provisional ballots. Those are ballots that were set aside on Election Day, if there was some question about a voter’s qualification to vote.
The key question to be considered for each ballot is whether it should be counted in the final, official results of the election.
It’s a routine and regular process, but generally does not attract much interest, let alone press coverage.
The unofficial vote totals, not including provisional ballots, give Hall a 37-vote margin: 12,975 to 12,938.
District 62 includes areas of Brown and Jackson counties, in addition to a swath of Monroe County that excludes most of the city of Bloomington.
In Monroe County, Githens got the majority of votes: 10,608 to 7,893.
After Friday’s provisional ballot review, Hall’s 37-vote margin across District 62 could be a little bigger, or a little smaller, or exactly the same.
According to Monroe County election officials, after Friday’s meeting, any provisional ballots that are accepted will be run through an optical scanner, which will write the results to a removable storage drive, which will then be hooked up to the computer that stores the election results and uploaded.
At its Friday meeting, the three-member Monroe County election board voted to accept as valid 19 out of the 32 provisional ballots from the Tuesday, May 3 primary elections.
Provisional ballots are those that are cast by a voter, but set aside due to some question about whether they are valid. Provisional ballots allow a voter to make their choices for candidates, without requiring Election Day poll workers, in circumstances that might be hectic, to make a final decision on validity