The counting of Ohio's provisional ballots has begun. And yes, officials are looking to make sure that the numbers in one column match the numbers in another.
After receiving the last overseas absentee ballots Friday night, local election officials must begin the tedious business of scouring every precinct for every ballot and making sure the number of voters who signed in at the polls matches the number of votes.
Unofficial totals show that Bush defeated Kerry by 136,000 votes, although 155,000 provisional ballots must still be reviewed. Kerry conceded when it became clear that it was enormously unlikely that he could surmount the 136,000 vote gap through those provisional ballots.
As for what percentage of provisional ballots will be accepted: "By Friday afternoon, fewer than 6,000 of the nearly 25,000 provisional ballots in Cuyahoga County had been reviewed, elections director Michael Vu said. So far, about two-thirds of those votes have been deemed legitimate, but those numbers could change." That's a bigger percentage than New Mexico, where about 45% of provisional ballots were deemed legit.
Meanwhile, in Summit County, "elections officials expect to begin recounting the ballots on Tuesday. Director Bryan Williams said his staff has found that about 10 percent of the 5,932 provisional ballots in the county are invalid." So in Summit county, 90% of the provisional ballots are being accepted.
How did Summit and Cuyahoga vote in the election? Cuyahoga went for Kerry, 67% to 33%, and Summit went for Kerry, 57%-43%.