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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Tuesday, October 19, 2004

    Sure you Ohioans can vote. Just go ahead and try 

    Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell's future hinges on how this presidential election comes off. That's the conclusion of those with whom The Columbus Dispatch's Joe Hallett spoke as Blackwell was dragged kicking and screaming into being more generous to provisional voters, those people whose vote he wants for governor two years from now.

    ``For him,'' said Herb Asher, Ohio State University expert on politics, ``it really does depend on how the election turns out.''

    No matter how it goes, Blackwell already has lost Ohioblog's vote. He had to be ordered by U.S. District Judge James G. Carr of Toledo to allow people whose name have been inadvertantly left off the voting rolls or have moved and failed to update their registrations to allow these voters to vote anywhere in the county in which they live instead of just in their correct precinct. Even as Blackwell issued a new directive to county boards of election, he was appealing Carr's order to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Blackwell could win. The Florida Supreme Court (just love using Florida as an example of anything to do with voting) has ruled the state can decide to be generous or grudging in applying the federal Help America Vote Act. So how much Americans are helped will depend on where they live in America.

    While Blackwell's new directive orders election workers to allow provisional voters to cast their ballots, they also are told to make every effort to get the person to go to the correct precinct and to have the voter sign an affidavit saying they understand that they are voting in the wrong precinct and that their vote may not count. It certainly won't even Blackwell has anything to do with it.

    And so it begins

    Two Hamilton County absentee voters received ballots missing a presidential candidate's name. It wasn't Ralph Nader's, either. That's the name election workers were supposed to strike. Instead, they eliminated John Kerry. Tim Burke, chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Elections, apologized and said the voters have received correct ballots but fears this ``will open us to all kinds of questions and concerns.'' It is only the beginning, Tim, only the beginning.

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 5:31 PM

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