Recount Likely In 15th District Race

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The Associated Press on Wednesday uncalled the race for the 15th District congressional seat, and elections officials said current tallies were on pace to warrant an automatic recount.

Earlier in the day, returns showed that Republican Steve Stivers finished ahead of Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy, but new information from the Franklin County Board of Elections indicated that the official vote count reported by the county included results from two other districts in the 15th District.

Unofficial returns from Franklin, Madison and Union counties left Stivers with a 321-vote lead over Kilroy.

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Elections officials said that an unspecified number of absentee ballots still needed to be counted on Wednesday.

"We're working our way through the absentee ballots that came in yesterday," said Ben Piscitelli with the Franklin County Board of Elections. "We should have those straightened away very shortly, and then we're going to count all the paper ballots that people chose at the polling places yesterday."

Once the paper and absentee ballots are counted, provisional ballots will be verified and counted, 10TV's John Fortney reported.

"We won't begin to go through those for 10 more days to determine how many of those are valid and will count in the final total," Piscitelli said.

Still, the race is so close that an automatic recount could be necessary.

"Under Ohio law, (the recount) is automatic if it's 1 percent or less," Piscitelli said. "The margin of difference with the numbers we have so far would fall well within that range."

Kilroy's campaign released a statement Thursday, saying it was confident that Kilroy would win the election based on the number of ballots yet to be counted, Fortney reported.

Stivers' campaign did not comment Thursday.

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