Democrat Danny O’Connor’s bid for an upset victory in the heavily-Republican 12th Congressional District of Ohio is not done, as election officials found late Wednesday 588 previously uncounted votes.
“Ohio race narrows as election officials find hundreds of uncounted votes in district previously won by Trump.”
— The Hill (@thehill) August 9, 2018
“The votes from a portion of one voting location had not been processed into the tabulation system,” the Franklin County Board of Elections said in a news release obtained by the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Franklin County Officials found the uncounted votes in a Columbus suburb, according to the Enquirer, netting Democratic candidate Danny O’Connor 190 more votes and narrowing his race against Republican Troy Balderson to 1,564 votes.
“6:05 PM UPDATE 🚨 We just netted 190 VOTES from Franklin County!
We’re confident DANNY WILL WIN once ALL the votes are counted, but we spent EVERYTHING we had on the Special Election.”
🚨 6:05 PM UPDATE 🚨
We just netted 190 VOTES from Franklin County!
We're confident DANNY WILL WIN once ALL the votes are counted, but we spent EVERYTHING we had on the Special Election.
Please donate $5 to make sure EVERY LAST VOTE is counted fairly.https://t.co/c4xUZd1ngr
— Danny O'Connor (@dannyoconnor1) August 8, 2018
Republic Balderson was supported by President Donald Trump and Ohio Governor John Kasich both of whom visited the district to help him during his campaign. He announced Tuesday night that he had won the close race, thinking he had kept the district in Republican hands. Trump won the district by 11 percentage points in 2016 and it has been held by a Republican 90 out of the past 100 years.
But O’Connor has said he will not concede the contest until all votes have been counted. He believes that it is too close to call one way or another. And, according to the Enquirer, 8,483 ballots (3,435 provisional ballots and 5,048 absentee ballots) still have to be counted. It’s not clear when these ballots will be counted but there is an Ohio legal deadline of August 24th.
State election officials will issue an automatic recount if the race’s final results show a margin of 0.5 percent or less.
Republicans had hoped to win the special election easily, but they were clearly worried as they spend nearly $5 million of national money to keep the seat in GOP hands. They knew they were facing a very high level of Democratic voter enthusiasm ahead just three months before the midterm elections in November.
Democrats need to flip just 23 House seats in order to take over control of the lower chamber of Congress. They are expected to do well in suburban districts similar to Ohio’s 12th District where there are a large number of college educated voters who have been turned off by the behavior and policies of President Trump.
Danny’s victory is still a long shot even with the extra votes, but his supporters have not given up hope, since there are so many uncounted ballots and since a swing in his favor could trigger a recount of the entire election. And if that happens, it is possible — though not likely — that O’Connor may still ultimately be found the winner of this tight race that could determine control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.