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Judge Says Ohio Must Allow Provisional Ballots 155

expriest writes "A Federal Judge has held that the state of Ohio must provide a provisional ballot to persons who claim to be registered, but whose names do not appear on the voter rolls. This decision reverses a policy by Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who was only allowing the provisional ballots in limited circumstances. Furthermore, the Judge put some teeth behind his ruling, allowing persons denied provisional ballot to sue the election official so doing for money damages."
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Judge Says Ohio Must Allow Provisional Ballots

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  • More articles (Score:4, Interesting)

    by j1m+5n0w ( 749199 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @08:19PM (#10570994) Homepage Journal

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer [nwsource.com]

    The Guardian [guardian.co.uk]


  • good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by i_should_be_working ( 720372 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @08:20PM (#10571001)
    especially the suing part. last time in that florida fiasco some voters were told they had to have a driver's liscence to vote. an obvious lie that hopefully only some first time votors would believe.

    at least in ohio the election officials will think twice before f*cking with someone's right to vote
    • Re:good (Score:5, Informative)

      by brilinux ( 255400 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @10:41PM (#10571889) Journal
      told they had to have a driver's liscence to vote. an obvious lie

      I do not know how it is down there, but in Virginia, you do need a Driver's Liscence to vote if you did not have your voter's card. That is how they checked off that you had actaully voted and made sure that it was you who was voting.

      • in Virginia, you do need a Driver's Liscence [sic] to vote

        C'mon that can't be right? The blind, maimed and Amish are denied the vote in Virginia? Surely your passport or some other formal ID would do instead?
        • The prior post said "if you do not have your voter card".
          • You shouldn'g need your voter card. Making a voter (even if only those who can't drive) dependant on having their voter card opens the system up to fraud. Voter cards in areas known to have a particular loyalty can go missing en masse, or individuals could have their cards stolen or mislaid by people who don't trust their voting intentions.
    • Re:good (Score:3, Informative)

      by xenocide2 ( 231786 )
      The good news is that here in Kansas, first time voters need a drivers liscence to vote! So now they're not lying when they come up with innane procedure to deny new voters sufferage.
    • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @06:31AM (#10573808) Homepage Journal
      Otherwise you are just asking for voter fraud.

      Provisional ballots are probably one of the worst ideas ever. They seem tailor made to insure fraud does occur.

      • Early voting is also just begging for fraud.

        That's what its becoming these days - which side can commit the most fraud. By 2008 we should be about par with third world mock elections. By 2012, there probably won't even be any more elections.
      • Provisional ballots are probably one of the worst ideas ever. They seem tailor made to insure fraud does occur.

        You obviously know nothing about the provisional ballot system.

        First, let me point out that it was part of the "Help America Vote Act of 2002" and anything that Ken Blackwell has done to block provisional ballots is in violation of that law. Our Secretary of State, Ken Blackwell, violated that law. If he thought it was wrong then too bad, law is law. He did challenge it and lost in court, law st
    • As a resident of North Eastern Ohio, I'm actually rather suprised that you need an ID to vote in a number of places. How it works for us, atleast where I've voted is you go to the polling place to which you are assigned (which is done by district) and you simply tell them your name and then sign your name in their book of registered voters. THis can obviously lead to problems if you show up to the incorrect polling place.
    • That was a lie down in Florida, but why don't we make someone show some form of ID? We have to show forms of ID for everything else why not when you vote? In Arizona last year they were trying to pass a law that would require people to present proper identification before they were allowed to vote, but the governor of the state said that would "disenfranchise" (I'm really starting to hate that word its getting thrown around like candy) her constituents and that is was a basically a plot against her.
  • by expriest ( 786895 ) on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @08:23PM (#10571025)
    Blackwell, the Ohio Secretary of State who got shot down here is working hard to be the new Kathrine Harris. He previously attempted to tear up voter registrations [acsblog.org] because they were printed on the wrong thickness of paper. And of course who could forget this absentee ballot [acsblog.org], which for some reason omitted the Democratic candidates.
    • The sad thing is that Blackwell purportely has the inside track for the GOP nomination for Governor in 2006.

      Is he trying to impress the leadership with some dirty tricks?
    • He previously attempted to tear up voter registrations because they were printed on the wrong thickness of paper.

      I presume he failed because the paper was to thick. Seriousley how do people like this ever stay in there position whilst diplaying and inability to cope with the job.

    • In Missouri they were printing ballots that were missing Bush/Cheney:
      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/story/240 041p-205897c.html [nydailynews.com]

      BOTH sides are engaging in MASSIVE fraud this year. Expect it to get worse in future elections, until finally we just give up on elections all together an openly become the dictatorship we are inevitably heading towards.
    • It gets worse. According to the League of Women Voters Cleveland Education Fund, Blackwell has anticipated this kind of ruling.

      Latest I've heard he'll allow the provisional ballots to be cast but it's likely that he'll instruct poll workers not to count them. He's going by a technicality here. Judging by the US Supreme Court's tendency in elections (cf.2000) and the Ohio Supreme Court's anti-activist leanings ("hey, state legislature, you're funding schools illegally, fix it please? ... okay, or don't, tha
  • Its about time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stinerman ( 812158 ) <nathan@stine.gmail@com> on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @08:26PM (#10571044) Homepage
    Its about time someone put Blackwell in his place. IIRC, Blackwell is also for throwing out ballots that were cast in improper precincts.

    Usually, if a voter came to the wrong precinct, they could just vote a provisional ballot and then have any levies that they weren't eligible to vote for be not counted. Now Blackwell wants the entire ballot to be thrown out. Not to mention he didn't accept voter registration forms that were correctly filled out, but weren't on the proper paper stock.

    I'm not going to say this is partisanship on Blackwell's part, but let it be known that Ohio is run by the Republicans at every level of government.
    • Re:Its about time (Score:3, Interesting)

      by will_die ( 586523 )
      The only reason to put in the last line is because of partisanship. However, since his actions effect the whole state the only way for it to be partisan is if you admit that democrate have far below the normal intelligence level of citizen of Ohio and cannot follow instructions. Since Republican out number Democrates(the state officals is run at every level by them) his action would effect them more then Democrates.
      More likly the guy is just anal retentive and worried that something will happen so he is
      • Re:Its about time (Score:3, Insightful)

        by b-baggins ( 610215 )
        Considering the real problem of voter fraud, I like the idea of an anal retentive secretary of state in matters pertaining to making sure the laws regarding voting are enforced.
      • I'm not partisan, I'm an independent. I see both parties as equally bad.

        The state does not have to have a majority of Republicans to have a Republican majority. Its called gerrymandering. Ohio is among Texas and Indiana as being among the most horridly gerrymandered states in nation. Take a look at how Columbus is split into 4 different districts in order to dillute the democratic vote. The State Legislature is just as bad in most areas.

        It is my opinion that Blackwell is attempting to make sure that
    • Re:Its about time (Score:3, Interesting)

      by joeyGibson ( 30462 )
      Is it really that bloody hard to go to the proper voting place to vote? I have to say that if you can't figure out where you're supposed to vote, then you are probably too stupid to vote in the first place.
      • Re:Its about time (Score:2, Insightful)

        by HFh ( 574258 )
        Actually, sometimes it is. Old voter registration cards pointing to the wrong place, etc. Here in GA (as I'm sure you're aware) several thousand folks who registered when they got driver's licenses never got voter registration cards (and some of us--for reasons no one can explain--weren't even registered).

        Personally, I think one should be able to vote wherever in one's state. We have the technology to make this possible. I suspect many would find it much easier to vote where they work instead of where

      • "Is it really that bloody hard to go to the proper voting place to vote?"

        Yep. Here's an example (from Ohio). I move. I get a new voting location (eventually). I send in the confirmation card (yes, I did move.) Of course why they need that if they allow "motor voter" registration and my address on my license matches my current address.... Go to correct polling place. Well, sorry, we have no record of you on our official lists. You are however on our "possibles" list (paraphrased-I don't know the exact term
  • voter fraud (Score:3, Funny)

    by LWolenczak ( 10527 ) <julia@evilcow.org> on Tuesday October 19, 2004 @08:30PM (#10571073) Homepage Journal
    Well Hello Massive Voter Fraud!
    • For the folks out there who can't see how this could lead to massive voter fraud, let me explain how it's going to cause that:

      1) lots of people cast provisional ballots who aren't registered

      2) the losing party in an election (not just president, but any of the offices and referenda being voted on) will point to provisional ballots that have a) been rejected and b) support the loser's cause to say that "These people were denied the right to vote!" and imply that either the registration system lost their
  • With all the new registrations this year there are bound to be a lot that got tied up in the system, mail lost or information entered incorrectly. They've been reporting on the radio that registrations were up 10 fold in the swing states this year so its nice they are taking this precaution.
  • Ohio is a very republican state.
    I live in one of the most republican counties.
    I live in a village with a corrupt council and mayor.

    Now I don't have to worry about not getting to vote this year. (Why did I vote for Nader last time?)

    At least we didn't adopt crappy, no paper trail, e-voting machines. Maybe next year.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      #1 Ohio is a very republican state.
      #2 I live in one of the most republican counties.

      I submit that your statement #2 leads to your false conclusion on your statement #1. It may be true that Republicans NEED to win Ohio and there are many Republican strongholds in Ohio (where you obviously reside) - but there are also many Democratic strongholds in Ohio (where i reside) which are equally determined to turn out the vote. If Ohio was so "very republican", it would not be the crucial swing state that it is. The
  • I live in Ohio too, and I didn't have to worry about not getting to vote this year, or last year, or the year before, or the year before ... no problems ... no worries.

    I strongly believe there ought to be some kind of IQ test and lower IQ limit to the voting process. There are plenty of people in society who can't, for instance, add or subtract 2 numbers under 20 without a calculator. I'm quite generous in the standard, say anyone scoring a 69 IQ or below would not be allowed to cast a vote.

    In the past
    • it doesn't matter how smart you are when shit like this [klas-tv.com] happens

      this may help stupid people to vote (which i have nothing against) but more importantly it stops corrupt election officials from derailing (even more so) the democratic process.
      • Honestly, this is not 'Insightful' nor 'Extra Insightful' ... I wouldn't have replied but for the excessive modding ...

        The judge's ruling still requires you to be properly registered in order for your vote to be counted -- this does nothing to prevent, discourage or otherwise thwart the deliberate removal of your name from the list of registered voters.

        The story referenced is about a disgruntled ex-employee of a company called 'Voters Outreach of America'. They were in Nevada to accept voter registration
    • A friend and colleague of mine believes that every ballot should have a simple multiple-choice test. Nothing requiring a History or Political Science degree; nothing needing math skills. Just a few basic questions (randomly selected from a large database for each ballot, to try and defeat cheat sheets or other "prepping" by party pundits) to check whether the voter has a basic grasp of consequences.

      For example, maybe you believe that all citizens should be medically cared for equally, even though that

      • I'd prefer an easier test.

        Something along the lines of
        1) What is your name ______________
        2) What is your quest ______________
        3) What is your favorite color __________
      • Well, as long as we're dreaming, I'd like to see the franchise limited to people who do not receive any kind of government aid. You take a welfare check, WIC, foodstamps, medicaid, etc. you don't vote. Period.
        • Gee great idea. So anyone who gets the $1000 tax credit for kids would be on the dole too, wouldn't they? Since that is aid for raising your children if effect. Most of us get some kind of support from the government, usually it's a fraction of the taxes we pay, but it's still being doled out to us. The whole idea is elitism.

          Personally I have kidney failure, which makes me eligable for dialysis treatment through medicare. Since my option was die or get federal assistance I decided to get the treatment.

        • Yeah, that's even better. Let's also exclude anyone that's ever received a federal farm subsidy, small business subsidy, Fannie Mae/Sallie Mae/Freddie Mac/VA loan, FDIC insurance, corporate tax breaks, child care credits, etc. Let's also exclude anyone whose ever taken any deductions off their federal income taxes. After all, if you don't want the spongers voting, I'm sure you have no problems paying every penny the government asks you to give back.

          I challenge anyone to find me ONE human being in the Un

        • Sure. But lets make sure its ALL government subsidies. So- have you used a road that was paid for with federal highway money? Bought, used, or recieved a good that was transported over such a road? Sorry- no vote for you.

          Number of elligible US voters: 2, both Amish. I guess it does make counting simpler.
    • I'd be satisfied if the intelligence test simply required people to demonstrate competence at punching a hole in a pre-perforated card.

    • You know, there is a reason for universal suffrage.

      "Black people don't have the education and the cultural background for democracy"
      "Women are mentally far to unstable to vote."
      "Only working people may vote, because only they contribute to the society."

      Yes, there may be more intelligent voters and dumber voters, but who gets to decide, which ones are the right ones? And who will ascertain that the exlusion won't be partisan or arbitary like in the "cited" cases in the past?

      But most importantly, what give
      • Since we were never intended to be a democracy, but a representative republic, your ideas on why there is universal sufferage fall apart. Read the federalist papers some time. Universal sufferage is not the wonderful thing we've all been indoctrinated to believe it is.
        • > Since we were never intended to be a democracy, but a representative republic, your ideas on why there is universal sufferage fall apart.

          Since I never intended to do become a billionair, my idea on why there are stock companies fall apart.

          In other words, I fail to see the logical consequence.

          > Universal sufferage is not the wonderful thing we've all been indoctrinated to believe it is.

          Why? First, why indoctrinated?
          Next, why isn't it?

          The US is a democracy in the sense people use the word [wikipedia.org]. It is
      • "In a democracy, you may not get the government you need or want. But at least, you get the government you deserve."

        Actually, I get the government that MOST of the public deserves.... That doesn't make me feel better, but it does explain a LOT :)

    • Right, so "All men are created equal, excepting the stupid ones."

      Way to push the Republican agenda there, Lil' W.

    • Wha . . .?

      So you're saying that only people who meet your precise definition of "intelligence" should be given the right to vote? If so, I'd like to personally thank you for stepping up to cure all of America's election difficulties with such a simple and sublime solution. Why didn't we think of this before?!? Now all we need to do is amend the Constitution!

      I.Q. based? Sweet mother of Christ.

      I can think of at least one very prominent U.S. official that has a significant amount of difficulty stringing

      • Not going to touch the IQ bit--so loony it's just not even worth the breath.

        But I have a couple of questions for you. The problems are not at all related to intelligence, but to simple confusion. Senior citizens who have voted in the same schoolhouse for 20 years are finding themselves re-routed to a new church building several miles away because their neighborhood was re-districted after the last election (we won't mention the fact that some folks may have some very strong opinions about being forced to v

        • Do you have any examples of that?

          Not any linkable that I can find, but from a personal perspective, my district in Georgia has re-adjusted twice now in the last eight years - each time requiring a new trip to a different polling place. At each location I've seen several older folks turned away because they were assigned a new polling place. They complained, but they went on their way without too much fuss as the trip was a relatively short one. As for religious issues, I wonder how some of the Souther

      • What a load of rubbish ...

        You contend that The problems are not at all related to intelligence ..., then go on to deliver examples of 'confusion' that arise out of a lack of intelligence:

        Senior citizens who have voted in the same schoolhouse for 20 years are finding themselves re-routed ...

        Assuming this is true, which is a big step, this change of polling place would've been detailed on their voter registration card that arrived in the mail. If they were intelligent senior citizens, they would've ma

        • Way to miss the point, let's try again:

          What happens when someone just like me gets to change the I.Q. guidelines? Or someone, who in your opinion, is very much worse.

          Are you prepared to face being banished to a political wasteland based on somebody else's qualification of your I.Q.? Somehow, I don't think so.

          What you fail to see is that every type of reactionary statement (such as this I.Q. requirement) has two sides. What appears positive to you appears fascist as hell to me. Doesn't mean either of

    • I have come to the conclusion that a person should have to answer a single multiple choice question before being allowed to vote. And here is the question.

      Please select all three (3) branches of government from below:

      • Executive (President)
      • Legislative (Congress)
      • Judical (Courts)
      • Intelligence (CIA)

      I figure if you cannot get this right you shouldn't be voting.

    • Ohio Revised Code stipulates that "idiots" shall not be qualified electors.

      I don't know what IQ range "idiot" is in, but all the same, we have laws on the books to that effect.
  • ... So I guess I'm going to get to vote Republican TWICE!!!

    Thanks, Liberal Federal Judges!!!! And remember, kiddies... Voter Fraud works both ways!

    • I expect that provisional ballots would require a bit more validation than usual ballots, to reduce voter fraud at the cost of taking longer to count. But I guess in Ohio's case this would involve checking which candidate was selected on the ballots, and rejecting every third democrat.
  • Ohio is _VERY_ close. This decision could easily change the presidential election.
  • by Hamster Lover ( 558288 ) * on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @02:21AM (#10573097) Journal
    is that politicians run the entire voting process, from registration down to the actual polling on election day. How can an election ever be considered fair when partisian elements control the process from the very top?

    We have an independent agency here in Canada called, appropriately enough, Elections Canada. Their sole purpose is to organize and execute the federal election process (each province maintains a similar independent agency to monitor provincial elections). The system has been refined over many years to eliminate any partisan influence to the point that even the returning officer in each polling station cannot vote in the election to ensure impartiality. The point being that our Attorney General, or whoever, would never have the ability to grab a stack of registration forms and toss them in the trash, it just doesn't work that way.

    Ever since the microscope was focused on the election system in the U.S. since the Floridian Fiasco I am still shocked to see how blatantly political it is. The system we use in Canada is not perfect, no system is, (in fact it is quite antiquated as we still use paper and pen for all elections) but when the chief electorial officer has a stake in the outcome of an election it just beggars belief that anyone would accept that the election to follow would be as fair as possible.

    What many in the world consider to be the heart of democracy deserves better than this.
    • I don't understand your point. The problem in America is corruption. What in your method of "elections canada" guarantees there won't be any corruption in the voting process. How could you possibly point to an arbitrary group of people and say "Ta dah! These people will never be biased or policital in their duties!". Ja, right.
      • What prevents it?

        1. You can register the day of an election, at the polls.

        2. The ballots are counted the same night they're cast.

        3. There's always a paper trail.

        4. The counting is always watched by people from multiple parties.

        5. You can even vote after the results are announced if you can show that you have been disenfranchised.
  • No right to vote (Score:2, Informative)

    by kingpin2k ( 523489 )
    Read your consitution...there is NO right to vote. The method for selecting state electors is left completely in the hands of the state legislators. I don't know how the Ohio state legislature has set up the rules, but if they say the paper has to be polka-dotted, then guess what...it does. There are amendments that prevent disenfranchisement based on race and sex, but there is NO right to vote for president (Hell, US Senators weren't popularly elected until the 17th amendment).
  • by DAldredge ( 2353 ) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Wednesday October 20, 2004 @09:35AM (#10574644) Journal
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/R/REGISTRATIO N_SCAM?SITE=1010WINS&SECTION=POLITICS&TEMPLATE=DEF AULT [ap.org]

    DEFIANCE, Ohio (AP) -- Elections officials knew something was wrong when they got voter registration cards for Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy, Michael Jordan and George Foreman.

    They notified the Defiance County sheriff, who arrested Chad Staton on Monday on a felony charge of submitting phony voter registration forms. Investigators also were looking into allegations that he was paid with cocaine in exchange for his efforts.

    Staton, 22, had fraudulently filled out more than 100 voter registration forms, Sheriff David Westrick said.

    "Staton was to be paid for each registration form that he could get citizens to fill out," the sheriff said. "However, Staton himself filled out the registrations and returned them to the woman who hired him from Toledo."

    Staton was charged with false registration and was released without bond pending arraignment.

    No other charges had been filed in the case Monday, authorities said.

    According to Westrick, the NAACP's National Voter Fund had submitted the false registrations to the elections board in Cleveland. George Forbes, Cleveland chapter president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said Monday that the voter fund operates independently from his chapter.

    Officers said they interviewed a Toledo woman who claimed that she had paid Staton with cocaine for the registrations. Officers said they obtained a search warrant and took voter registrations and drug paraphernalia from her home.

    The woman claimed she had been recruited by a Cleveland man to obtain voter registrations, Westrick said.
    • Yeah, we call it "Crackgate" in Cleveland. Laughingstock of the nation again - man, we have Kucinich (not such a bad guy!), the burning Cuyahoga River, and the Browns on our record and then came Crackgate. It's a bad time to live in Cleveland.
  • By Jim Siegel
    Enquirer Columbus Bureau

    COLUMBUS - Thousands of cards mailed by county election boards to newly registered voters in Hamilton County and throughout the state are being returned because the people can't be found.

    John Williams, director of the Hamilton County Board of Elections, said the situation indicates that there might not be as many new voters as some expect in a state deemed crucial in the presidential election.

    Ohio Republican Party Chairman Robert Bennett on Tuesday said it's a result
  • Voting Rights Act of 1971 42 U.S.C. 1971

    No person acting under color of law shall . . . deny the right of any individual to vote in any election because of an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any application, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or omission is not material in determining whether such individual is qualified under State law to vote in such election.

    http://blogcritics.org/archives/2004/10/05/153124. php [blogcritics.org]

    Blackwell's solution to the pesky probl

Would you people stop playing these stupid games?!?!?!!!!