Of the 352 provisional ballots cast in Scotland County on Election Day, 78 have been approved and counted by the Board of Elections.
According to Board of Elections Director Dell Parker, most of the rejected ballots were cast by individuals not previously registered to vote.
“The impression I got is that people thought because they could register and vote at the same time during (OneStop early voting) that they thought they could do that on Election Day,” Parker said.
The good news is that even if a provisional ballots is not counted, simply filling out the provisional ballot form registers the voter for future elections, officials said.
Those having cast provisional ballots were given a phone number to call to learn the status of their ballot. Once votes have been finalized during canvassing they may call and discover not only whether their vote was counted but also, if it was denied, the justification for that decision.
The Board of Elections also considered a number of absentee ballots which were received at their offices after the Nov. 5 deadline.
“They were mostly looking at the postmark as well as looking to confirm that the voter signed the outside of the envelope and that they had a proper witness,” Parker said.
Of the 17 absentee ballots that were approved, 10 were cast by civilians, two by members of the armed forces and five by Americans overseas.
Canvassing will take place at 11 a.m. today at the Board of Elections headquarters. Parker said that the three-person board could convene for as little as 15 minutes to read out the final vote totals.
It is possible that there will be a statewide recount in the race for Lt. Governor, where Republican Dan Forest leads Democrat Linda Coleman by approximately 10,500 votes. Once provisional and absentee votes are counted, if that margin is less than 10,000 then a recount would be triggered.
“Recounts do cost counties a lot of money,” Parker said.
Parker said that Coleman’s attorney has requested copies of each of the provisional ballots cast in Scotland County. In order to comply Parker said that she must go through the painstaking process of redacting private information from the provisional ballots.