Lake County reviews absentee, provisional ballots to certify election results

Lake County is ready to certify the results of the May 6 primary election Monday after officials reviewed absentee, provisional and emergency ballots to determine whether to add them to the count.

Michelle Fajman, the Democratic Elections director, said the election board Thursday reviewed three categories of ballots following the election: absentee ballots with mismatched signatures, absentee ballots with no signatures at all, and provisional ballots.

As part of the process, affidavits were sent out to the impacted absentee voters, asking for confirmation they did in fact cast their ballot.

“If it was returned, their vote was counted,” Fajman said.

LeAnn Angerman, the Republican deputy director of Elections, said as elections and the way voting is conducted evolves, so do the number of potential ballots officials may need to review.

“Provisional ballots have expanded over the last few years to include Election Day provisional ballots as well as absentee by mail provisional ballots,” Angerman said.

The county election board is tasked with determining the validity of those ballots.

“The County Election Board considers many factors in making that determination and we appreciate their thoughtful consideration,” Angerman said.

There were 19 absentee ballots that had mismatched signatures. Eight voters failed to return the affidavit. Votes cast by the 11 who did return an affidavit were counted.

There were 26 absentee ballots returned unsigned. All but four of those individuals returned the affidavits, Fajman said. While some lingering questions remained concerning some of the signatures, she said the board elected to count the 22 ballots because they did not impact the result of any races.

Ten provisional ballots were cast on Election Day. The board voted to count four of those where the voter cast a ballot in the wrong precinct because they were individuals who had moved and were still eligible to vote one last time in their old precinct before having to change their registration, she said.

Of the remaining six provisional ballots, proof of ID was needed for three of those votes. If the individuals bring a valid, current photo ID to the board of elections office by noon Friday their votes will be counted.

“Three of those were not counted,” Fajman said. One was disqualified because the voter wanted to change party affiliation after voting, and two ballots were by voters in a canceled status who will have to register again before being eligible to vote.

There also were four emergency ballots cast on Election Day, Fajman said. One of those ballots was voided and the board approved counting the other three if all other requirements for the emergency ballot were good.