Ohio Historical Society Will Recount Statuary Hall Ballots

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For the past several months Ohioans have been voting on the historical figure they’d like to see in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall. On Wednesday the Ohio Historical Society announced that Thomas Edison, who was born in Milan, Ohio, was the top vote getter among a group of ten of the state’s historical figures. The society said that about 37,000 ballots had been cast. Then Wednesday night the society revised its figures, saying that about 10,000 ballots were inadvertently overlooked. Now Ohio Historical Society spokeswoman Kim Schuette says a third party will be obtained to recount the ballots.

“We discovered some ballots that were not counted,” Schuette said. “It was an oversight and we thought that the best way to ensure that people had confidence in the final tally was to ask for a volunteer to audit the ballots.”

Q: How many ballots were uncounted and how did they go uncounted?

“There were approximately 10,000 ballots. They were stored in a room that was not used and the ballots were not counted as an oversight,” Schuette says.

Q: I know it’s hard to predict but do you expect another winner might emerge because close to 10,000 ballots went uncounted?

“No we’re confident that these ballots are the final tally,” Schuette says. “Now with all recounts there’s always a margin of why ballots are disallowed because they’re not appropriately filled out according to the rules set forth in the election. But we are fairly confident that they will within a margin of error will hold steady.”

Q: This isn’t another irregularity in state of Ohio voting is it?

“No. We all along said that we are not the Secretary of State’s office. This popular election is clearly that. It was a gauge of people’s opinions about who they thought should represent the state of Ohio in Statuary Hall. It’s not an actual election however we feel that we need to do our due diligence and ensure that the tally that we give to the statuary hall committee is the best the final numbers of what the people of Ohio voted for,” Schuette says.

Even with the addition of 10,000 votes, Schuette says Thomas Edison remains Ohio’s favorite. Schuette says the society hopes to complete the recount before the end of the month – in time for a meeting of the statuary committee who will make a recommendation to the Ohio Legislature. That recommendation will then be voted on by state lawmakers.