Recount laws in Ohio

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Each state has its own series of recount laws. The separation of powers clause in the constitution has largely placed the responsibility for conducting on state governments. Here is a summary of the recount laws in Ohio. Note: Before taking any action, or if you have any questions, contact your state election agency.

Ohio voting equipment

Ohio uses Direct Recording Electronic Method in its voting systems and require a Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail when conducting elections.

Ohio recount procedures

In Ohio, there is an automatic recount when the number of votes for the declared winning candidate does not exceed the number of votes for the declared defeated candidate by a margin of 0.5% or more of the total vote in a county, municipal, or district election, or by a margin of 0.25% or more of the total vote in a statewide election.[1] Any losing candidate may seek a recount by filing a written application within five days after the election results are declared.[2] The applicant must provide a deposit as security for the payment of the recount costs.[3] The applicant will be charged for the recount costs by precinct unless: (1) the recount results in the applicant being declared elected or (2) the total number of recounted votes cast in a precinct for the applicant is over 4% greater than the number of votes for the applicant originally recorded.[4] The Board of Elections must begin a recount within ten days of the declaration that prompts an automatic recount or the filing of an application.[5]

The declared losing candidate may file a written request with the Board of Elections not to start an automatic recount; the Board must grant such a request.[6] If a person was declared elected to an office, but a recount resulted in that person not being elected, the person may, within five days of an amended declaration of election results, apply for a recount in any precinct where ballots were not recounted.[7]

Ohio vote contest procedures

Federal election results may be contested by filing a petition with the clerk of the Ohio Supreme Court within 15 days after the results have been announced by the proper authority, or within 10 days after the results of a recount have been announced.[8] The petition must be signed by the defeated candidate or by at least 25 voters who voted for or against a candidate for the relevant office.[9] The petition must provide the grounds for the contest and be accompanied by a bond with surety sufficient to pay all costs.[10] If the results of the election are confirmed, the petition is dismissed, or the prosecution fails, the contestor will be liable for costs; if the results of the election are set aside, the appropriate county will pay the costs.[11] To prevail, a contestor must prove that: (1) one or more irregularities occurred and (2) the irregularity or irregularities affected enough votes to change or make uncertain the election result.[12]

See also


  1. Ohio Code § 3515.011.
  2. Id. at §§ 3515.01, 3515.02.
  3. Id. at §3515.03.
  4. Id. at § 3515.07.
  5. Id. at § 3515.03.
  6. Id. at § 3515.03.
  7. Id. at § 3515.06.
  8. Id. at §§ 3515.08, 3515.09.
  9. Id. at § 3515.09.
  10. Id. at § 3515.09.
  11. Id. at § 3515.09.
  12. In the election of November 6, 1990, for Office of Atty. Gen. of Ohio, 58 Ohio St.3d 103, 105, 569 N.E.2d 447, 450 (Ohio 1991).

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