Let the Recount Begin

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Washington County will join the rest of Ohio's 88 counties Tuesday in the statewide recount of last month's presidential election results.

Board of Elections director Becky Kirkbride expects to have three percent of the ballots counted by hand, with the rest counted by machine. The local county elections boards, however, will not have to pick up the cost of the special recount.

"We are hiring six poll workers to assist with the recount," Kirkbride says. "We will use them the entire day. Whatever the cost is for paying them, that's all we will have."

President Bush won the state by 119,000 votes and won Washington County by 5,000, but 92,000 Ohio ballots showed no vote for president.

Ohio's Electoral College representatives cast the state's 20 electoral votes for the president Monday. Washington County will be among the counties taking part in that recount, and election officials hope the process goes smoothly.

"They are required to count three percent and check those against the totals we had election night," says Kirkbride. "If it matches up we can continue with machine counting the rest of the ballots."

Two minor-party presidential candidates requested the recount, and other challengers want the Ohio Supreme Court to stop the Electoral College vote.