Nearly a third of provisional ballots in Ohio's August special election were tossed for lack of ID
The percentage of provisional ballots that were rejected in the August special election was the highest it had been in statewide votes over the last two years. Voters were only deciding on one item—the amendment to make it harder for future amendments to become part of Ohio’s constitution.
In the Aug. 8 election, 22.5% of the 39,476 ballots cast by people whose eligibility to vote in Ohio was in question were rejected. And 31.9% - almost a third - of those provisional ballots were tossed because the voter didn’t have identification.
An analysis of data on statewide elections from the Ohio Secretary of State's website shows the number of provisional ballots rejected in August because of lack of ID was up more than four times over last November’s vote, in which just over 8% were thrown out.
Provisional ballots rejected in statewide votes since 2018:
- 22.5% were rejected in August 2023 special election
- 9.7% rejected in November 2022 general election
- 10.5% rejected in May 2022 primary election
- 10.7% rejected in November 2021 general election
- 18.7% rejected in November 2020 general election
- 29.1% rejected in 2020 primary election (voting Feb. 19 - April 28, 2020)
- 12.0% rejected in November 2018 general election
- 12.0% rejected in May 2018 primary election
The May 2023 primary was the first election under a new law requiring photo ID, and it was only local issues and races, and 39% of provisional ballots were rejected for lack of ID.
Lack of identification as reason for provisional ballot rejection:
- 31.9% in August 2023 special election
- 8.2% in November 2022 general election
- 8.0% in May 2022 primary election
- 8.8% in November 2021 general election
- 5.0% in November 2020 general election
- 1.5% in 2020 primary election (voting Feb. 19 - April 28, 2020)
- 5.5% in November 2018 general election
- 6.9% in May 2018 primary election
Before this year, an average of 6.7% of provisional ballots were rejected for lack of ID. But most of the time provisional ballots are tossed out it’s because a voter isn’t registered in Ohio.