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Edward B. Foley
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Information and Analysis

Uncounted Provisional and Absentee Ballots in Ohio

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November 9, 2006

Uncounted absentee and provisional ballots may affect some Ohio races. In Ohio’s 2nd Congressional district, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports 4,400 uncounted provisional ballots in Hamilton County, with “several thousand more” expected to come from Warren and Clermont counties. As for absentee ballots, officials in Warren County have decided to wait to count some 9,800 absentee ballots due to officials’ interpretation of their duties under Ohio law. The number of outstanding ballots appears large enough to keep the final outcome of the 2nd District’s Congressional race in doubt (see chart).

The same is true in Ohio’s 15th District (see chart). As of this morning, the Columbus Dispatch reports that in the Franklin County portion of the district roughly 10,000 absentee ballots and 10,500 provisional ballots remain to be counted. The 15th district also contains two other counties that may have some additional uncounted ballots.

Also this morning the Akron Beacon Journal reported there to be "more than 144,000" uncounted absentee and provisional ballots statewide, with that number expected to grow with the addition of overseas absentee ballots. Nonetheless, the number was not expected to be large enough to change the result of the statewide Auditor race, although Democratic candidate Barbara Sykes, behind by about 77,000 votes (see chart), indicates that she, too, will not concede the election to Mary Taylor at least until the provisional ballots are counted.

UPDATE: Nov 10 (2:50 PM)

OH-2: Number of Provisional Ballots Remains Uncertain

An AP report puts the number of uncounted provisional ballots in this election at approximately 4,700, which differs from yesterday’s report in the Cincinnati Enquirer, which said there are “likely” to “[s]everal thousand” provisional ballots from other counties in the district, in addition to 4,400 from Hamilton County. Meanwhile, yesterday, the Wulsin campaign released a statement that "it will examine the possibility of a recount.”