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Franklin County Board of Elections Certifies Election; Recount Looms for 15th Congressional Race

The Franklin County Board of Elections, Monday, certified the results from the hotly contested US Congressional race in Ohio's 15th district. While a victor was named, the race is not quite over.

With all the votes counted, GOP Congresswoman Deborah Pryce beat her democratic challenger Mary Jo Kilroy, but not by enough to avoid a recount. Pryce won by 1,054 votes. That's less than one-half of one percent. State law requires a recount when a margin is that close. Pryce said she's not worried about a recount affecting the final outcome.

"There's a possibility that a recount will be required. I welcome that. I think that voters need to know that this is accurate, that there's integrity in the election system, and that they have elected who they want to elect," Pryce said.

Kilroy, who picked up more than 2,000 votes after the absentee and provisional ballots were counted, also welcomes a recount. She said one is needed due to problems with the new voter ID law.

"This is the first time that people have been required to show identification. A lot of confusion on how those ruling were made at the precinct level, at the polling place level and all those kind of things I think are reasons among others that a recount is a good thing to have happen here," Kilroy said.

But at a news conference after the results were released, Kilroy appeared less resolute than she has since election night. She would not speculate what will happen following the recount.

"I expect it to change votes. And we'll wait and see if it will change the outcome. But it will change votes. That's what happens in recounts," Kilroy said.

Pryce would not say if she thinks Kilroy should concede. But she commented about the cost of a recount.

"I hate to see the expense of this recount. But I do think there is a reason we have that law on the books. It adds to folks trust in the system," Pryce said.

The Franklin County Board of Elections sent its certified results, including those from Madison and Union Counties, to the Secretary of State's office. Once the results are reviewed, the Secretary of State orders the recount.

James Lee with the Secretary of State's office, said county boards of elections then have ten days to complete the recount. Lee said elections officials will review paper audit trails, and then re-tally some 220,000 ballots to insure the number of votes cast and the number of votes counted match.

"More often than not the recount doesn't change the outcome of a race. But you never know," Lee said.

Lee said the recount should be completed around December 8th.