President Bush’s victory over John Kerry in Ohio was closer than the unofficial election night totals showed, but the change is not enough to trigger an automatic recount, according to county-by-county results provided to The Associated Press on Friday.
Bush’s margin of victory in the state that put him over the top in his re-election bid will be about 119,000 votes — smaller than the unofficial margin of 136,000, the county election board figures showed. That means Kerry drew closer by about 17,000 votes.
The margin shrank primarily because of the addition of provisional ballots that were not counted on Election Day and were not included in the unofficial tally. Overseas ballots also were added to the count in all 88 counties.
Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell will certify the results Monday.
The president’s margin of victory was about 2 percent, not close enough to require an automatic recount. That is done only when the difference is 0.25 percent or less.
However, the Kerry campaign and two third-party candidates are seeking a recount. The Green and Libertarian parties said they have raised enough money they need to cover the costs.
The Kerry campaign said it is not disputing the outcome of the presidential race, but wants to make sure any recount is “done accurately and completely.”