Election Day could launch election month in Ohio, a weeks-long period in which deadlines for counting provisional or absentee votes and, if necessary, for a recount could delay the outcome of the presidential race until early December. If there is a recount of the presidential race — triggered by the victorious candidate winning by less than one-fourth of 1 percent of the total Ohio vote — state officials would have to shorten some timetables specified in state law to meet the deadline. Under Ohio election codes, Secretary of State Jon Husted has until Dec. 7 to certify the statewide results. Five days later, a recount could begin Dec. 12. Both dates, however, could be moved up — and would have to be if a particularly close race mandates a recount.
In the 2008 presidential election, nearly 5.8 million Ohioans voted. Assuming the turnout is 6 million this year, which is nearly 52 percent of Ohio’s population, a recount would be required if the winning margin is less than 15,000 votes — a figure bigger than the winning edge in 1976, when Democrat Jimmy Carter defeated President Gerald Ford by only 11,116 votes out of nearly 4.1 million cast.
Husted said while some races may remain undecided, he expects the winners in the presidential and other major statewide contests to be known by Wednesday morning. That hinges, however, on the width of the gap that separates President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, and whether the potentially hundreds of thousands of provisional and last-minute absentee ballots — which will not be counted until at least mid-November — could close it.
Full Article: Ohio recount plan could take election into overtime.