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Counter Points is written by WVXU Senior Political Analyst Howard Wilkinson. In it, he shares insights on political news on the local, state and national level that impacts the 2020 election. Counter Points is delivered once a week on Wednesdays and will cease publication soon after the November election is decided.

'It's A Lot Of Work': Election Workers Keep Hamilton County Votes On Track

hamilton county boe election worker
Aaron Doster
A Hamilton County election department employee handles ballots during the general election at the Hamilton County Board of Elections, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Norwood, Ohio.

Election Day is over but for election workers, the hard task of ensuring the vote went off without a hitch will likely go on until mid-December. In Hamilton County, officials looked into reports of malfeasance and are still counting votes. 

There have been reports of voter intimidation and people voting more than once. Investigations into the claims did not pan out any concrete proof of either.

"There's a lot of people who are very skeptical about the process which makes us feel like we should follow up on anything that we hear like that," Sally Krisel, deputy director at the Board of Elections, said.

Investigating Reports Of Voter Intimidation

For instance, an anonymous report was made about a voter who says he was approached by several men trying to convince him to vote with a pre-filled out ballot. The voter also said he was followed by one of the men in a pickup truck almost all the way back to his home. 

Krisel said a trouble shooter was sent to the St. William Church, where the incident allegedly happened, but no evidence  turned up.   

"Was he confused about getting a slate card or something? I don't know, but since we didn't have any other kind of reports like that it seemed to be just kind of an anomaly," she said. "And didn't seem to be true once we checked into it."

Another two incidents were reported about posts on social media.

"I received a phone call from a woman who said on Facebook there was a gentleman who was reporting that he voted twice. ... So you really kind of have to track that stuff down because it feeds into people's nervousness about the election process." Krisel said. 

That and another comment from someone saying they'd voted three times didn't appear to be true and was voluntarily removed from social media.

Election officials are still reviewing notes from poll workers about any other potential complaints while they also continue counting votes.

Counting, Counting, And Counting Some More

Several thousand absentee votes are still being counted, an estimated 13,000 provisional ballots haven't been counted, and hundreds of mail-in votes need to be corrected or verified.

A Form 11-S has been sent to people who need to provide additional information to have their mail-in vote counted, and people have until Nov. 10 to mail or turn that form in.

Krisel says all this is underway and, after an official count is completed in mid-November, an audit to account for every ballot will last until mid-December.

"It's a lot of work to make sure everything happened the way it's supposed to."

Jolene Almendarez is the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants who came to San Antonio in the 1960s. She was raised in a military family and has always called the city home. She studied journalism at San Antonio College and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Public Communications from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She's been a reporter in San Antonio and Castroville, Texas, and in Syracuse and Ithaca, New York.