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Ohio math myth stands behind presidential recount demand
A petition insists vote fraud swung the election president Obama's way; but Politifact says "Pants on Fire"
This story is part of a special series.

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
In The Region:

The second most-popular petition on the White House’s “We the People” website is one demanding a recount in the presidential election. And it’s based on a fallacy tied to the number of voters in one Ohio county. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on the mistaken math.

SCHULTZE Checking the voting math

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The White House set up the “We the People” web site to invite petitions from across the country, and respond to those with 25,000 signatures or more. So far, the biggest draw is a petition to let Texas secede from the union. But right behind it is one with more than 60,000 signatures calling for a recount in the presidential election.

Politifact Ohio has traced it to a misunderstanding of the number of voters in Wood County in northwest Ohio.

Wood County is home to Bowling Green. And like a lot of college towns, students move in, register to vote, and leave without ever showing up in the every-10-year Census count.

So the Census shows Wood County has about 98,000 people of voting age. But the number of registered voters in November topped 108,000.

The petition claims President Obama got 106,000 votes in that one county, or 108 percent of the vote. It then calls for ID laws.

But Politifact notes that Wood County actually has only about 80,000 active voters, and about 62,000 of them voted in the Nov. 6 election. President Obama got about 51 percent of those votes, which is a shade better than he did statewide.

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