Democrats take up fight over ballots
Bill Sloat - November 18, 2004
Cincinnati - Seeming to brush aside John Kerry's concession speech, the Ohio Democratic Party has launched a federal court fight over nearly 155,000 provisional ballots by contending a proper accounting of those votes might decide who really won.
In Ohio, Bush now holds a lead of about 136,000 votes over Kerry.
County officials across the state began tabulating provisional ballots Friday.
"Given the closeness of the presidential and other elections," Ohio's provisional ballots "may prove determinative of the outcome," Democrats argue in a legal filing made public Wednesday by the U.S. District Court.
The lawsuit asked U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson to order Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell to impose uniform standards for counting provisional votes on all 88 counties. Democrats want the judge to take action quickly - before the results of the election are certified.
Watson, who was appointed by Bush, has not set a hearing.
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