Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal
Saturday, October 16, 2004
Election night parties are a tradition. Some Ohio boards of election have a new twist. They're going to have pity parties instead. Pity the poor election board workers because it might have to labor too hard to make this vote work correctly. Forgive Ohioblog for not giving a chad.
Response to the ruling by U.S. District Judge James Carr of Toledo that Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell must direct county boards of election to be more liberal in allowing provisional ballots. Instead of restricting voters who may have moved without changing their registration addresses or otherwise are not probably on the voter roles to receiving provisional ballots only from their proper precincts, Carr said that such voters should have provisional ballots if they try to vote anywhere in their county. Election officials determine later if the vote for federal or state office will count and must eliminate votes for local issues or candidates for which the provisional voter was not qualified to vote. Now, that's work. The ballots might even have to be punched again.
``Our boards of elections are simply not prepared to deal with the type of Election Day scenario that Judge Carr thinks should be in place,'' said Blackwell spokesman Carlo LoParo.
Really? At least 23 states handle provisional votes in this way. Maybe Ohio officials could inquire as to how they manage this act of fairness. Or perhaps those who are whining could contact Gwen Dillingham, deputy director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, who says the task that could be ahead isn't so tough. ``We remake torn ballots and ballots that are voted backwards,'' she told the Akron Beacon Journal's Lisa A. Abraham. Unlike can-do Dillingham, too many election officials were complaining that it's just too hard.
Blackwell is attempting to block Carr's order until an appeal can be heard, but insists this will not keep the county election officials in the dark. Maybe. If Blackwell loses at the federal appeals level, he has every intention of going to the U.S. Supreme Court (oh goody, the Supreme Court can decide another election). Blackwell is determine ``to fight this until the last dog dies.''
Or, the last vote is not counted. Meanwhile, Blackwell has another fight on his hands. Lucas County and Ohio Democratic parties Friday sued him for what they charge is failing to enforce uniform standards for people who register to vote Nov. 2. The suit deals with differences in Blackwell directives on filling out the registration form in person or by mail.
And that's today's news from Oh-flor-i-da-io, the new voter heaven.
posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 1:47 PM
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