Voters follow all the rules but their primary votes didn't count

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - These voters did their part. They followed all the regulations to be part of the democratic process. But it turns out their vote didn't count.


That's what happened to some Lucas County voters who tried to vote in Ohio's primary election.

Some of the ballots took well over a month to leave a postal box in Toledo and get to downtown Toledo. Even if they were postmarked properly, if those ballot arrived 10 days after election day then by Ohio law, they didn't count

If residents didn't vote early in person before March 17, Ohio's original primary date, they became part of the mail-in or drop off category. The two choices -- stick the ballot in a drop box at your board of elections or mail it in.

The mail didn't work out for three Lucas County voters in particular. They postmarked their ballots well before the April 27th deadline but their votes didn't count.

Here's what 13abc found about those three Lucas County ballots, all city of Toledo residents.

One voter from Westbrook Drive in west Toledo postmarked her ballot on April 18. It arrived to the Board of Elections on May 13.

A voter on Locust Street in north Toledo postmarked her ballot on April 10. It arrived on May 12, over a month for that ballot to arrive at a location half a mile away.

Then there’s the most egregious problem, a ballot postmarked April 7 from North Kennison drive near Bowsher High School. It arrived on May 12 -- 35 days later.

None of those votes counted because they arrived after the 10 day window.

So what happened? That's not clear.

Toledo area mail does go to the Detroit area, so that could have played a role.

Ohio's Secretary of State asked the US Postal Service to keep Ohio election mail in the state, but that request came 1-2 weeks after these ballots were postmarked.

The 13abc I-Team spoke to two of those voters who didn't want to go on camera. The man who mailed his ballot from N. Kennison said he didn't know it took that long for his ballot to arrive. He also didn't know his vote hadn't counted.

The US Postal Service sent this statement to the 13abc I-Team about this incident:

The U.S. Mail serves as a secure, efficient and effective means for citizens and campaigns to participate in the electoral process, and the Postal Service is committed to delivering Election Mail in a timely manner. We employ a robust and proven process to ensure proper handling of all Election Mail, including ballots. Regarding this specific instance, postal management is researching the matter and will have no further comment until that investigation is complete.