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93rd House race heading toward recount

Timetable expected after Vinton canvas

By no later than the first Friday in April voters in a four-county district should know who won the 93rd Republican Ohio House seat.

In the March 6 primary those who came to the polls or sent in absentee ballots by Election Day put Gallia County financial adviser Ryan Smith as the victor pulling in 6,902 or 40.92 percent of the vote.

Lawrence Economic Development Corp. director Bill Dingus came in second with 6,840 or 40.56 percent. In third place was Jackson County Commissioner Jim Riepenhoff with 3,123 votes.

A recount is expected since the difference between Smith and Dingus is one-half of the total votes cast in that race.

However, before there can be a recount, the outstanding absentee and provisional ballots must be counted.

That will happen at each county’s official certification of the election results.

During election night the secretary of state reported that there was a total of 319 outstanding absentee ballots and 261 provisional ballots. Outstanding absentees are those ballots sent out by the county boards of election to be counted if they are received up to 10 days after the election. Those ballots must bear the postmark of March 5 or the day before the election to be counted.

Provisional ballots happen when a voter appears at the polls and doesn’t have proper identification or the address on file by the BOE office doesn’t match what the voter has listed on his or her ID.

In Lawrence, the Secretary of State reported there were 177 outstanding absentees. As of Tuesday morning five of those have been returned to that county’s board of election.

In Gallia there were 12 outstanding absentees and none have been returned and in Jackson where there were 130 absentees with 20 received. There were no outstanding absentees in Vinton, the fourth county in the 93rd District.

Counties have until March 27 to certify their election results. Jackson has scheduled its official canvas for March 18; Gallia on March 19; Lawrence at 9 a.m. March 25 and Vinton on March 27.

“In multi-county races, our office orders the recount,” Matt McClellan, spokesman for the secretary of state, said.

The secretary of state will set the timetable for that recount which must be done between the sixth and 10 days following the order for the recount.