Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
Mercer, Auglaize county turnout likely highest ever
By Daily Standard Staff
Lines formed most of the day at polling locations throughout the state and natio. . .
By JANIE SOUTHARD
and WILLIAM KINCAID
Voter turnout in Mercer and Auglaize counties was among the highest ever, according to local election officials.
Mercer County's total voter turnout was 75.04 percent, with Auglaize County's turnout at 70.15 percent. Auglaize officials reported their turnout was up about 20 percent from the last general election.
In Mercer County
According to the unofficial total, 20,700 votes were cast from the county's base of 27,585, according to the Ohio Secretary of State's Web site.
The state's Web site this morning says there are 444 outstanding absentee ballots and 613 provisional ballots still to be counted.
On the national vote, the county favored John McCain (71.25 percent) over Barack Obama (27.26 percent). Vote count was 14,730 to 5,636. Ralph Nader placed a distant third with 124 votes.
Board of elections member Del Kramer said everything ran well in the county except for an incident involving an observer appointed by the Mercer County Democratic Party. The observer was booted from the voting area after touching the ballots, Kramer said.
Also, precinct results came in slow throughout the evening. The final unofficial results were not released until around 1 a.m.
Kramer said there was a problem with one of the scanning machines. Around 1,000 ballots had to be hand counted, he reported.
Also, a caller from Coldwater complained about a lack of privacy at the Coldwater precinct, pointing out that voters were situated next to each other at tables. This also happened at the Galleria in Celina. Election officials set up private booths for voters, but instead of waiting in lines, many voters chose to vote at tables, on benches and even leaning up against walls.
In Auglaize County
The unofficial total in Auglaize County was 23,005 ballots cast from the county's base of 32,794 registered voters. This includes 5,900 absentee votes. Nearly 700 provisional votes are yet to be counted.
County board of elections Executive Director Carolyn Campbell said the day was uneventful and ran smoothly at the precincts.
"In fact, it was almost boring," she quipped as the last printout rolled off the office printer.
The final vote numbers were released around 9 p.m., with a printout available about an hour later, due to a printer problem.
In the national vote, the county favored John McCain (69.82 percent) over Barack Obama (28.42 percent). Vote count was 15,823 to 6,440. Ralph Nader placed a distant third with 159 votes.