CINCINNATI — 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.