Ohio House 92nd: Phillips (D) Awaits Vote Count from Athens County UPDATED
I got a call this morning from Debbie Phillips (D-Athens), running against Rep. Jimmy Stewart (R-Athens) in the 92nd Ohio House District. She explained that Athens County has something like 2,500 absentee ballots that it has been unable to count due to a malfunctioning scanner. The elections board does not want to release the non-absentee vote totals until the absentee votes can be included, because otherwise the absentee totals can't be released until the official count ten days from now.
Phillips pointed out that her margin in the other counties in her district (8,180 to 11,696) is much better than prior Democratic challengers, who lost there by a 2-to-1 margin or more. Athens County is expected to yield 16,000 to 20,000 votes, so it may exceed the 19,876 votes from the other counties (Meigs, Morgan and Washington).
She does not know when the Athens vote totals will be released. Until then, she remains optimistic and is working on documenting elections irregularities and preparing to work with a team of elections lawyers if necessary.
UPDATE: I just got the following from the Phillips campaign, indicating that the initial results from Athens County are out but it is very close and provisional ballots have not yet been counted:
Due to problems with scanning absentee ballots in Athens County, the vote totals for the 92nd House District were delayed until mid-morning today. Currently, Stewart holds the lead. But with more than 2,000 provisional votes remaining to be counted, the House Democratic Caucus and the Phillips campaign will continue to monitor the count.2nd UPDATE: Phillips is down by about 1,300 votes.
"I appreciate the support, hard work and faith of the hundreds of volunteers and contributors who made this a strong race. My campaign staff and I will monitor the counting of the provisional ballots, and work to make sure that every vote counts," stated Phillips. "We have many victories to celebrate today. The people of Ohio elected a great new Governor and US Senator. We won the House. We picked up seven seats in the Ohio House, and minimum wage workers in Ohio will be getting a raise."
"Obviously, there were problems with the counting in Athens county, along with scattered reports of problems at polling locations. The House Democrats believe the race is still in play, and we will watch closely while the remaining votes are counted."