Athens County Board of Elections Discuss Provisional and Absentee Ballots

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The Athens County Board of Elections discussed provisional and absentee ballots to be counted tomorrow, among other business in their regular board meeting Wednesday morning.

During the meeting, the board ruled that two additional absentee ballots were invalid, bringing the total of invalid absentee ballots for the May 7th election to four.  There are still four valid absentee ballots set to be counted.  Additionally, according to the Athens County Board of Elections, there are fifteen provisional ballots set to be counted, with two others deemed invalid.  According to Athens County’s Board of Elections director Debra Lee Quivey, the provisional and absentee votes will be counted by machines tomorrow, but election officials will not know the official results until Friday.

“What we will do tomorrow is we’ll open those provisionals, we will run them through our high-speed reader,” Said Quivey.  “They will be on a card, we can not see the totals on them because as the unofficial [count] we can not look at the tabulation until the 24th.  So they’ll be on a card and on the 24th all we do is plug that card in.  We don’t run anything on the 24th because we want to make sure we’re ready and nothing has happened.”

Results are expected to be released to the public during the day Friday.

As of now the vote count for the Alexander School levy still stands at 1,177 votes in favor of the tax versus 1,172 votes against the tax.  The provisional and absentee ballots could change those results. The May 7th ballot was the levy’s sixth time the issue was put to voters. Diana Hughes is an Athens County resident, and hopes the changes made this time around are enough to help the levy pass.

“I hope it passes, because it isn’t going to be a hardship on the older people,” said Hughes.  “They won’t have their income taxed because it’s social security or a pension, and the working class people will just have to pay a little more and our school system needs it so much.”

Hughes’ husband David is hopeful as well, noting that funding is essential to keep the school at a high level.

“I just hope the provisionals can keep the count positive and we can get the thing passed this time,” said Hughes.  “We need to keep our school a top notch school and obviously it takes money to do that.”

If passed, the levy would impose a one percent income tax on all earned income in Athens County and would fund operating costs for the Alexander School District.