Sylvania Press Release
City of Sylvania Vote Total Update
Election Day issues in Sylvania
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While there were some difficulties on Election Day, it’s the provisional ballots and absentee ballots that could still possibly affect the outcome of the 2021 Sylvania City Council race.

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"There is a close race in Sylvania council, and I don't know how many provisional ballots and absentee ballots are out there,” said Timothy Monaco, Deputy Director of the Lucas County Board of Elections (BOE), on Friday. “They are sorted, but not opened, in a double-locked room.  We are not allowed to open them for ten days.”

Monaco stated that Ohio has never had election night official results, and that they are unofficial for a reason. 

 “It's so we can balance our check-ins versus our vote totals, find any anomalies or irregularities, and also allow for the absentee ballots to arrive and to count any provisionals,” said Monaco.  “That's been the law in Ohio for decades.”  

Monaco said the ballots will be opened on the 15th, counted, and on the 19th the results will be certified.  At that point official results are released.  

“The official results for City Council could theoretically still change, depending on what comes in,” said Monaco. “But it has nothing to do with what happened with the election day issues.  

On election day, there were problems with the printers that create the ballots, but Monaco said that the issue was resolved by early morning and did not cause any tally problems.  Then, later on there was an error in the uploading of votes, involving 1,700 votes in one precinct in Sylvania.

“We're still investigating what exactly caused the issue to happen,” said Monaco.  “It was not anything to do with voting equipment.  We're trying to figure out if it was human error or technological.”

Monaco was certain that nothing was breached security-wise, and he stated that the BOE is sure the error will not change the outcome of the election because they know how many votes there are. 

“The machines actually worked very well,” said Monaco.  “There are two portions of how elections operations work in Lucas County.  The voting machines are ballot-marking devices that have a tabulator inside of them.  That slip of paper is your actual ballot.  The machine marks the ballot, and then there's also a tabulator.  We use an electronic poll book, which allows us to look up an individual to make sure they haven't voted yet, and that they're a registered voter, and in the right place.  We have printers that work with the electronic poll book.  Those printers encode that ballot so when you put it in the machine you have the correct ballot.”  

He said that on Tuesday, in Sylvania those printers were failing to print the barcode correctly in the beginning of the day due to an error by the poll book vendor.

“When this situation occurs, poll workers have to manually input the code into the voting machine,” Monaco said.  “Or, they use the paper ballot if it is too busy to do it manually.  There is no election data on the poll books, just voter registration information.  And the paper ballots are counted on election night.”

Monaco shared that several voting areas outside Sylvania experienced the same problem with printers.

“The machines were never down,“ Monaco stressed.  “Paper ballots were issued due to the encoder.  And any paper ballot cast on Election Day was counted on election night.  The machines worked fine.  There are a lot more steps to this than people realize.”

Official results will be released on the BOE website on November 19, 2021.

Additional Resources

View BOE Press Release

City of Sylvania Vote Total Update

Visit the Lucas County Board of Elections official site: