Ohio begins provisional ballot counting

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Associated Press

Posted on November 18, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Updated Sunday, Nov 18 at 7:06 PM

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio election officials can begin counting provisional ballots Saturday after a last-minute court battle that threatened to add uncertainty to the process.

The stakes are smaller with the presidential race decided. But Ohio has three state House races whose outcomes remain unknown. They could determine whether Republicans will increase their majority.

Republicans have a 58-38 edge. If that grows to 60 or more, the GOP could automatically place ballot issues before voters.

Court battles over provisional ballots pitted Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, overseeing his first presidential election, against voter advocates including those representing homeless voters.

Federal appeals courts backed Husted twice, though not before a local federal judge harshly criticized Husted for actions he took late in the election process.

Election officials must certify results by Nov. 27.

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