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Web site to display Lucas County vote

Election results for all races and issues in Lucas County will be posted on the internet after polls close Tuesday, county Auditor Larry Kaczala and Antoinette Szuch, director of the board of elections, announced yesterday.

The website - www.co.lucas.oh.us/election - includes precinct maps, links to such sites as the Ohio secretary of state, and a section for children about the electoral process.

Precinct results will begin to appear on the site by 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, officials said, and the maps will be shaded to show which precinct has gone for which candidate. Polls close at 7:30 p.m.

“For old political hacks like me, and maybe others, it's interesting to watch the trends for a candidate,” said Mr. Kaczala, who as auditor is head of data processing for the county.

“After the fiasco in Florida, I like people to be able to watch the elections as they happen.”

A similar web site was in operation for the 2000 presidential election, he said.

Results released election night are unofficial until certified by the board of elections, a process that can take several weeks.

The results of the Sept. 11 primary were certified Oct. 2.

Last month, Tom Noe, a board of elections member, suggested that results be held until they are certified, citing the confusion in Florida after the presidential election last year. Voters could lose confidence in the system if they see differing election-day and official results, he argued.

Ms. Szuch said the board is required by law to release results on election night.

Mr. Kaczala said even if unofficial numbers aren't released, some type of result would circulate, even if through exit polling.

“Since the professionals are [getting election results] and the media are doing that, I don't see why the citizens can't be doing that,” Mr. Kaczala said. “I've always been for really, really open government.”

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