Political baseball: the Ohio provisional ballots edition

Updated
The democratic political baseball team
The democratic political baseball team

With 12 days until the election and only two more Thursdays until Nov. 6, we’ve reached the bottom of the 8th in our game of political baseball. The game is close, with the latest Real Clear Politics national poll average showing Romney up only 47.8% to Obama’s 47.1%. That seven-tenths of a point means the race is a virtual tie.

Politico’s Jonathan Allen joined the Cyclists on today’s show to discuss the status of Ohio. The question is, does the election come down to Ohio and its 18 electoral votes? Allen said, “Ohio obviously is the big crown jewel of the remaining swing states, if you consider Romney to be ahead in Florida significantly, as a lot of the polls have been showing.” The polls are tight in this battleground state, with the president ahead by a slight margin of 47.9% to Romney’s 45.8%.

But now the question of provisional ballots comes into play. A new Ohio program, intended to make voting easier, could actually make it more difficult to figure out which way Ohio will go. The provisional ballots are given to voters who requested absentee ballots, but didn’t return them and decided instead to vote in person. Under state law, their vote cannot be counted until Nov. 17. Ohio’s nightmare scenario? It could have as many as 800,000 ballots to count 11 days after the election.

So as we near The Big Day, it’s probably safe to predict the ballot counting will go deep into the night on November 6 - but let’s hope those 18 electoral votes will be easily determined, Ohio nightmare averted.

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Political baseball: the Ohio provisional ballots edition

Updated