Election Law @ Moritz

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Edward B. Foley
Free & Fair is a collection of writings by Edward B. Foley, one of the nation's preeminent experts on election law.

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Post-election Dispute in Pryce/Kilroy Race?

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November 8, 2006

As of 3:30 p.m. today, CNN.com is showing Ohio House Republican Deborah Pryce ahead of her opponent Mary Jo Kilroy by 11,261 votes, or 4.96% of the vote. However, the final count may depend on the estimated 30,000 uncounted provisional and absentee ballots cast in Franklin County. If the final count is close, the apparent loser may decide to apply for a recount. Unlike some other states, Ohio allows a recount upon application regardless of how close the final returns come out (see question 40 of Ohio 50/5). The apparent loser may also file an election contest, but only if she is able to allege election irregularities significant enough to alter the outcome of the election (see question 45 of Ohio 50/5). While voters did report some problems with machines and some confusion over identification requirements, it is not clear that these irregularities were severe enough to allow a challenger to credibly claim they affected the final outcome. On the other hand, the closer the final count becomes, the less severe any irregularities need to be to potentially affect the outcome. EL@M will post more on this story as developments occur.