November 28, 2004

Bush's Margin Reduced by 1070 Votes as Result of Montgomery County Tally

Board of Elections conducts official count from Nov. 2

By Jim Bebbington Dayton Daily News

DAYTON Sen. John Kerry extended his winning margin slightly inMontgomery County in official results Monday at the Montgomery County Boardof Elections.Board staff on Monday conducted a full, official count of the MontgomeryCounty votes from Nov. 2.The results showed Kerry's margin in Montgomery County grew by 1,070 votes— to 4,616 — over President Bush.The official count did not change the ultimate result of any issues on the ballot, according to board Director Chris Heizer.
The official results are expected to be adopted at the meeting of the boardof elections today.The official count included 7,375 provisional ballots that were cast Nov. 2 but set aside until board staff could check the voter's registration orresidency.
Overall, there were 9,257 provisional ballots cast in Montgomery County,and 1,882 were ruled invalid.Of the 9,257 provisionals, 11.5 percent were ruled invalid because thevoter was not registered, and 8 percent were ruled invalid because thevoter was in the wrong precinct, elections officials said.
Democrats had sought before the election to have Ohio count all votes byregistered voters regardless of whether the voter was in the correctprecinct. But Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell prevailed in hisinterpretation of Ohio law that requires voters to vote only in their homeprecinct.The official count Monday also helped erase an unusually high number ofso-called undercounted presidential votes in several Montgomery Countyprecincts, including Washington Twp. X and Kettering 3-A, where more than25 percent of the ballots initially registered no vote for president.

Officials said electrical service to three of nine vote-counting machineswas interrupted election night when a fuse blew, then backup batteries died.The precincts that were being counted when the power died were recounted,but the interruption also affected results that were being transmitted tothe central computer.Board staff did not know those were lost until media accounts found thehigh discrepancies, Heizer said.In the official count Monday, Washington X and Kettering 3-A hadundercounts about 2 percent each.
The error meant 186 votes for Bush and 106 votes for Kerry were not countedbetween the two precincts.
>br>Boards of elections across the state have until Dec. 1 to complete their official count of the Nov. 2 election results.

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