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Edward B. Foley
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OH-15 congressional race too close to call; may be related to Franklin County poll book mistake

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November 5, 2008

Steve Stivers is currently leading Mary Jo Kilroy by 321 votes in the OH-15 congressional race according to data on the Franklin County Board of Elections website. Several radio stations this morning stated that Stivers had won the race 48% to 44%. This was likely based on numbers reported earlier today on the Secretary of State’s website which have since been updated with the correct Franklin County numbers. Several types of ballots remain uncounted that may affect this race: 1) mail-in absentee ballots that are still being received (these had to be post-marked by Monday), 2) paper ballots cast on election day by voters who chose this option over the touchscreen machines, and 3) provisional ballots which require additional verification before they are counted. Franklin County is much larger than Union and Madison counties and therefore probably has more uncounted ballots. Deputy Director Matt Damschroeder said today that some voters were mistakenly flagged with codes of “3” and “prov” in the poll books. These codes instruct poll workers to have these voters cast provisional ballots because of defects in their registration status. At some point in the day, having realized the mistake, the Board sent an automated call to all poll workers instructing them to allow these “notation 3” voters to cast regular ballots. Damschroeder also said these voters’ provisional ballots will be counted.  Read the most recent update here from The Columbus Dispatch.