Summit County election results finalized
County Council reaffirms election with canvass
November 25, 2016
The preliminary results of the Summit County election were reaffirmed last week following the official county canvass, with no races being overturned or major changes reported.
"As far as the local races, they pretty much stayed true to form," said Summit County Clerk Kent Jones.
The County Clerk's Office reviewed 21,038 ballots that were cast in this year's election, along with 341 provisional ballots, which only slightly increased the margins of victory for the two Democratic candidates for County Council Glenn Wright and Doug Clyde over their Republican challengers.
Wright defeated incumbent Republican Tal Adair for the final two years of former County Council member Dave Ure's term. The canvass increased the margin by only 17 votes. Final totals for Wright were 10,048, or 52.6 percent, and Adair 9,051 voters, or 47.4 percent.
The official tally from the contest between Clyde and Republican Colin DeFord did not change the result. Clyde secured his win over DeFord with 10,281 votes to his 8,754.
A record-breaking number of Summit County voters cast ballots in the election, representing more than 87.5 percent of the electorate.
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The county received 341 provisional ballots, but only qualified 272. Of the 68 disqualified, 57 were submitted by unregistered voters and one came from someone who had already voted.
Approximately 18,490 mail-in ballots were sent, but 405 were disqualified. Of the 405, 143 did not have a matching signature, 93 were unsigned, 87 were post-marked after the deadline and 37 were from people who had moved to another county. Four envelopes were empty.
"When you consider that out of 18,500 returns about 400 were disqualified, that's a pretty small percentage," Jones said. "It's unfortunate, but we sent letters to people whose signatures didn't match so they would still have a chance to vote.
"We also worked with the post office to put out as much information as possible about when their ballot would make it and would it would not make the deadline," he said. "It's unfortunate, but it is beyond my control."
The county switched to a mail-in system in June and has encountered few issues related to postmarking and mailings. Some registered voters claimed they never received their ballots and others have contested the postmarking deadline. The county contracted with K&H Printers, a company based in Everett, Washington, to distribute the ballots.
Jones indicated he plans on contacting the printing company to request a final summary report. He said he is interested in receiving tracking information to determine "where and when a ballot hit a post office" and where "those ballots that didn't get sent went."
"We haven't really had a chance to go back and do a review with the printer yet, but I plan on doing that because there are a couple of questions that I have," Jones said.
To view the results of the official canvass, go to http://summitcounty.org/DocumentCenter/View/4058.