With just five votes separating them on Election Night, Democrat Connie Pillich and Republican Mike Wilson are both appealing to supporters to help them contact people who cast absentee ballots that have problems.
Pillich, the incumbent in the Ohio House 28th District seat, was ahead of Wilson by five votes when ballots were counted on Nov. 3. But the Board of Elections still is counting absentee and provisional ballots, which could be the deciding factor in the hotly contested race.—-
On Tuesday the Hamilton County Democratic Party issued a mass e-mail seeking volunteers to help in the Pillich-Wilson race, as well as in Tracie Hunter's race to become a Juvenile Court judge against Republican John Williams.
“This is an urgent appeal for volunteer help,” the party's e-mail stated. “Two races still hang very much in the balance in Hamilton County; Tracie Hunter's race for Judge of Juvenile Court and Connie Pillich's race for State Representative. Both are important races and both could be swayed by the votes of more that 1,000 absentee voters whose votes cannot currently be counted (most commonly because they failed to seal the inner envelope or to sign it).
“Volunteers are urgently needed to try and reach these voters and persuade them to go to the Board of Elections and cure the problem. Can you help? The (sic) coming Friday at 4 p.m. is the deadline,” the e-mail added.
Wilson's campaign also e-mailed a similar appeal to supporters this week.
Based on ballots tallied on Election Night, Pillich received 20,161 votes (48.72 percent) compared to Wilson's 20,156 (48.71 percent).
Pillich, an attorney and U.S. Air Force veteran, is a first-term state lawmaker from Montgomery. Wilson, a technical manager, lives in Springfield Township and is leader of the Cincinnati Tea Party.
The Pillich-Wilson faceoff has been hard fought, with allegations of smear tactics on both sides. The race was featured in Time magazine in October as an example of state legislature races that could affect who controls redistricting.
Also on Election Night, Williams held a small lead in the judicial race against Hunter. Williams had 112,359 votes (50.64 percent) to Hunter's 109,512 votes (49.36 percent).
About 11,000 provisional votes are being counted.
Provisional voters have two days left to provide proof of identity and correct problems with their ballots. Those voters may either go to the Board of Elections offices at 824 Broadway, downtown, or call 513-632-7000.
The elections board will meet Nov. 23 to certify all results.