86 provisional ballots to be considered

Voters cast their ballots Tuesday at North Side Gymnasium in Elkhart. 

GOSHEN — The Elkhart County Election Board will meet Thursday to consider the 86 provisional ballots that were cast Nov. 5 during the municipal general election.

The board reconvenes at 3:30 p.m. in Rooms 106 and 108 of the Elkhart County Administration Building.

Of the 86 provisional ballots in the county, 28 are in Goshen and 58 are in Elkhart.

The outcome of two races could be affected by the provisional ballots, which are used to record a vote when there are questions about a voter’s eligibility that must be resolved before the vote can count.

Only one vote separated the candidates for Goshen Common Council District 3. Preliminary tallies showed Republican Matt Schrock with 248 votes and Democrat Jennifer Shell with 247 votes. 

In Elkhart, a close race for three at-large council seats could be tipped by provisional ballots. Republican Mary Olson led balloting with 3,013 votes, followed by Republican Kevin Bullard with 2,939, Democrat Arvis L. Dawson with 2,935, Democrat Alex Holtz with 2,905, Republican Brian Dickerson with 2,725 and Democrat Thomas Butler with 2,490. 

The Election Board will consider each of the provisional ballots based on the reason for challenge, considering all of the information gathered, according to Christopher Anderson, clerk of the Circuit Court. Board members will then make a determination of the validity of each one.

Per state statute, the names and addresses of the provisional voters will not be made public.

The board will reconvene at 9 a.m. Friday to begin tabulating the valid provisional ballots and perhaps certify the results of the 2019 Municipal General Election, Anderson said, although noon Friday is the deadline for a provisional voter to present a valid photo ID to the Clerk’s Office.

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