PICKAWAY – Since election day in Pickaway county, most people have been waiting for the outcome to one of the closest runs for sheriff in the county in a long time. The winner of the Sheriff has been on hold because votes were so close it came down to absentee and mail-in ballots to be counted. The issue is due to Ohio law it takes about two weeks for those ballots to be legally counted leaving Pickaway county in suspense.
Candidate Matt Hafey currently leads the incumbent Sheriff Robert Radcliff by a mere 262 votes and according to the Board of elections who did an official county this morning, 685 votes approximately separate the winner from the loser in this election. In order for the Incumbent Sheriff to win he would have to receive the majority of those votes to overcome the deficit.
Originally the numbers were much higher for absentee and mail-in votes but those numbers were compacted down when the 407 mail-in ballots were accounted for.
Some people request mail-in ballots and never return them, and some people ask for mail-in ballots and decided to vote in person. So it’s the job of the BOE to make sure that it’s impossible for someone to vote twice and account for all of those mail in-ballots whether they get returned or the voter decided not to vote. That’s why we have an almost two-week waiting period before votes are fully counted, to give time for votes to come in by mail, including overseas military votes.
Out of the 711 provisional ballots, some of those votes also are not eligible and it is the BOE duty to go through them also to check the eligibility of those ballots also. Out of those ballots, some were found that they had moved out of the county, cast previous ballots, no signature, not registered in Ohio, wrong precinct, and wrong poll all of those votes were not eligible.
Other votes that were counted and were eligible la majority of them came from people who sent in an absentee ballot, voter changed legal name, and voters who recently moved into Pickaway county.
Because this election is so close, a .05% automatic recount could be enacted if votes come within about 150 votes between the candidates, otherwise, a recount can be requested by either party at a cost to the candidate.
The Board of Elections will be allowed to count those 685 approximate ballots starting on Tuesday, November 17, and we will have official election results on Wednesday, November 18th.