Northwester Law Prof Jim Lindgren comments on Ohio:
[Jim Lindgren, November 3, 2004 at 4:36am] Possible Trackbacks
Provisional Ballots in Ohio.–
At 4am ET early Wednesday morning, this official list of the number of Ohio provisional ballots by county does not have anything listed for Cuyahoga County.
Assuming that there is no way to manufacture new provisional ballots in the next few hours, it appears that Americans were lucky this time that the results in Florida and Ohio were not close. At 4am Wednesday, with 100% of the Ohio precincts reporting, Bush leads Ohio by 145,000 votes (51.1% to 48.4%)–very different from the effective tie in Florida in 2000 (just a few hundred votes difference then). People were so strongly expecting a razor thin result in Ohio that they haven’t yet fully adjusted to the fact that it wasn’t too close. Wins by more than 2% are completely ordinary and–absent special evidence that I am not privy to–not the sort of situation that should merit special scrutiny.
If I were Kerry, I would wait to see how many provisional ballots there are in Ohio (just to be reasonably cautious), assess whether Bush won any one of Iowa, Nevada, or New Mexico, and then make a quick decision. By the way, as I go to bed, Bush is leading by 3% in Nevada with 100% of the precincts reporting (and CNN just called Nevada for Bush).
UPDATE (4:40am Wed.): In just the last 45 minutes, almost half of the missing counties have added counts of provisional ballots, raising the total from 76,000 to 110,000.
2d UPDATE (4:50am): The official Ohio website shows a 134,000 vote difference between Bush and Kerry.
3d UPDATE (5:25am): The Ohio website still has 10 counties outstanding, but Cuyahoga has come through with a plausible number of provisional ballots. The total is now 135,000 but is likely to stay low enough that a Kerry concession on Wednesday is likely–perhaps with the slightest of reservations on his part just in case the count comes out shockingly in his favor.