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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Wednesday, October 13, 2004

    There's correct and then there's fair 

    Ohioblog has been riding Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell as if he were a bad pony for the decisions Blackwell has been making that put Ohio at risk of being unfair to voters and becoming the next Florida. Now comes to J. Kenneth's defense DeForest Blake Soaries Jr., chairman of the bipartisan U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

    Among Blackwell's questionable decisions (remember the edict that county election boards could not accept registrations on sub-weight paper?) has been the provisional voters procedure. Blackwell has directed poll workers to issue provisional ballots to those who have moved and haven't updated their registration only if voters are in their home precinct and that voters should be directed to the correct precinct. Soaries says this is appropriate.

    Here's the underlying flaw: The Help America Vote Act requires ballots only in a voter's jurisdiction. What constitutes jurisdiction is left up to the states. In some, like Ohio, the ruling is that the jurisdiction is a person's precinct. In other states, it could be the person's county, giving that person a greater opportunity to have his or her vote
    count. This is a national election. Ohio should be as generous as possible. It isn't.

    And with voter registrations at record levels, strange stuff happening with a break-in at Lucas County Democratic headquarters and voters already are being placed at risk through no fault of their own, someone should be protecting their interests. That someone should be Blackwell. Instead, he is being viewed as an intimidator of voters, not exactly the reputation a public official wants when he has his eye on the governor's job.

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 11:02 AM

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