Monday, October 30, 2006

My Absentee Voter Story, Strange Epilogue #1

The piece I wrote recounting in detail my experience at the Franklin County BOE on the first day of absentee voting is by far the most read post this blog has had. I had no plans to follow it up, and I've resisted writing election integrity pieces because many others are doing that at a level I couldn't attempt to match without losing focus on the things I want to blog about this season.


I received my absentee ballot in the mail today. You may wonder why, three weeks after I cast my absentee ballot, I am receiving a ballot in the mail. I certainly am. At the moment I am more concerned, however, with the pink piece of paper that came with the ballot that says:

ATTENTION ABSENTEE VOTER: The United States District Court has enjoined the enforcement of certain provisions of Ohio law that would otherwise require qualified electors to provide proof of identity when applying to vote by absent voter's ballot or when casting their absent voter's ballot.

Please be advised that you are not required to provide proof of identify (sic) when you complete your aplication to vote by absent voter's ballot nor when you complete the absent voter's identification envelope prior to returning your voted ballot. (emphasis in original)

For those of you not keeping score at home, the US District Court put a restraining order on the Boards of election preventing them from enforcing the new voter ID law. SOS Blackwell declined to intervene, but AG Petro insisted that he had standing to appeal the order. After initially being turned down, an appeals court agreed and also agreed to lift the order for now, putting the Voter ID law back into effect, pending further appeals.

As far as I can tell, that means that if I were to follow the advice of the Franklin County Board of Elections, and not provide Identification, my ballot could actually end up being invalid, and potentially thrown out because the I.D. requirement had been reinstated.

If anyone would like to explain to me that I'm wrong about this additional wrench in the barrelful of monkeys that is the Ohio election process, I would love to have my fears allayed.

P.S. because I have already voted, I'm not sure I have standing to officially complain about this. If I'm wrong about that, I'd like to know that, too.

1 comment:

Yellow Dog Sammy said...

The attorneys would still like to hear from you, even though you succeeded in voting. Your story still provides evidence of the confusion being generated. Send a note to