First some recount news:
A federal judge denied a request by third-party presidential candidates who wanted to force a recount of Ohio ballots even before the official count was finished.
Judge James G. Carr in Toledo ruled Tuesday that the candidates have a right under Ohio law to a recount, but said it can wait. The judge wrote that he saw no reason to interfere with the final stages of Ohio’s electoral process. Officials have said the results will be certified by December 6.
The lawsuit by Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb and Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik had asked Carr to issue an order requiring Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell to immediately begin a statewide recount of November 2 voting results.
The candidates received a combined 0.26 percent of the vote in unofficial results. But they contend a recount is necessary to ensure accuracy.
And now a little provisional ballot math.
Looking at the provisional ballots, 78%(61,536) of the 79,256 ballots counted so far have been found to be valid. There were 155,337 provisional ballots cast. If every remaining provisional ballot were found to be valid there would be 137,617 provisional ballots. Before the provisional ballots President Bush led in Ohio by 136,483. For the election to swing to Kerry (assuming again that all the remaining provisionals were valid) then Kerry would have to win the provisional vote 137,051 to 566 (99.59% to .41%). If less than 98.5% of the remaining provisional ballots are valid then Kerry could not possibly win.
Now let’s look at the results from only one county. After the completion of Greene County’s provisional count, Kerry gained 1,181. President Bush gained 1,536 votes. Now remember, in the hypothetical every-remaining-ballot-is-valid scenario if Kerry is to win Bush could only pick up 566 of the provisional votes statewide.
It’s been assumed for some time, but John Kerry officially can not win Ohio through the counting of the remaining provisional ballots.