Stivers-Kilroy Too Close to Call

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Just like it was two years ago the results of the race in the 15th Congressional District are extremely close. Right now Republican Steve Stivers leads Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy by only 321 votes out of about a quarter of a million votes cast. Slowing the process is the large number of absentee ballots cast Monday and and paper ballots cast on Election Day.

Early in the afternoon Franklin County Board of Elections director Michael Stinziano said Republican Steve Stivers had kept a narrow lead over Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy.

“The current information has Sen. Stivers about 300 votes ahead of Commissioner Kilroy. What we’re finishing up are the paper ballots that were cast on Election Day as well as the absentee ballots received the last two days – the Sunday and Monday before Election Day,” Stinziano said.

But that total won’t include other kinds of ballots such as provisional ballots cast on Election Day. The provisional ballot tally won’t be known until the end of next week and it could tip the election one way or the other. The votes are so close, Stinziano says, that a recount might be necessary.

“Since it’s in the certain, I think it’s one percent or a little less than one percent, yes, there could be challenges or it could be contested and we may have to do an automatic recount.”

The automatic recount is triggered when the margin is less than one half of one percent. Such a recount occurred two years ago when Congresswoman Deborah Pryce narrowly beat Kilroy. Pryce’s 1,000-vote margin of victory was not known for more than a month after Election Day.

The Stivers campaign has so far declined comment other than to acknowledge the closeness of the contest.

The Kilroy campaign says it’s confident of victory. It released a statement saying, “The thousands of votes still being counted include early votes from Veterans Memorial and legal paper ballots that were issued at polling sites.”

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