COLUMBUS- State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D- Kent), ranking minority member of the Select Committee on the Election Contest – 98th House District, released the following statement about its first meeting:
The select committee today adopted unnecessarily restrictive rules for hearing the House District 98 election contest. On a party line vote, the committee adopted rules saying that the committee would NOT examine all available evidence, including uncounted votes. and not to hear witnesses including voters whose ballots were unlawfully rejected. This approach seems designed to rig the outcome of this process and thwart the will of the voters. Over 60 votes have not yet been counted and this committee ought to ensure that this injustice is resolved.
We do our work in the House with the party that earned the most votes in the 2012 election at a 20 seat deficit to the party that won thousands fewer votes. Fewer seats in the chamber and fewer seats in every committee has created a severe lack of accountability to Ohio's voters.
I will hold out hope that the limited information the select committee has decided it will hear will lead them to change their minds and listen to the voters of Ohio and count their votes.
On Election night, Representative Al Landis led in the 98th House District race by a margin of 331 votes. After most of the provisional and absentee votes were counted, the margin shrunk to 14 votes. After an automatically triggered recount was completed, the margin shrunk to 8 votes. Over 60 votes remain uncounted in the race. The House by law decides the election of its own members under its own rules.