No changes in final Warren Co. vote count
E-mails released Monday show lockdown pre-planned
By Erica Solvig
Enquirer staff writer
LEBANON - Warren County finished its vote count Monday without any results changing.
An additional 2,200 votes were added to the 93,321 that were tallied on Election Day, putting voter turnout at 76.3 percent. Most of the new votes were from provisional ballots, but about 600 of them were late-arriving absentee ballots, according to elections board Director Susan Johnson.
The final tally showed that President Bush carried the Republican-dominated county with 72.1 percent of the vote.
Some close results - such as the Kings Schools levy that passed with 52 percent in favor - were also unchanged by Monday's count.
Warren County has drawn national attention for its election night problems, from three-hour-plus lines at the polls to locking down the administration building during the vote count because of terrorism concerns.
The Ohio Secretary of State's Office wasn't aware of another Ohio county taking that measure. Federal and local homeland security officials say they didn't know of an increased threat in Warren County.
On Monday, 271 ballots weren't counted because the voters were not registered, Johnson said. Another 56 people voted in the wrong precinct, so their votes weren't counted either.
Elections boards in Butler, Clermont and Hamilton counties are not expecting to finish their canvassing until next week.
County Commissioner Pat South has said the decision to lock the doors election night was made during an Oct. 28 closed-door meeting (the Thursday before Election Day). But in e-mailed memos dated Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 - released Monday after an Enquirer public records request - other county officials were already detailing the security measures, down to the wording of signs that would be posted on the locked doors.
"I don't think there's a discrepancy," Emergency Services Director Frank Young said Monday of the e-mail conversation with Building Services Director Jake Jones. "Part of that is the planning process."