Monday, December 18, 2006

Provisional Ballots

The Dispatch ran an article on the Voter ID law and provisional ballots yesterday. BSB called it a terrible article (and it was pretty bad, although in my random off-topic opinion the prize for awful article full of unexamined contradictions goes here).

Anyway, the first additional point that I think should be brought up is that the people who warned that the new law would cause a voting disaster didn't just complain, they actually did something about it.

The second is that the problems occured at the electoral pressure points:

...Franklin County election officials are concerned that the county led the state in the increase of provisional ballots this fall from 2004 — a jump from 2.7 percent to 5.1 percent.

(Franklin Co. BOE Director Matthew)Damschroder said it’s not clear why, but he speculated that one reason might be confusion about the ID requirement. For example, some voters who had a valid driver’s license with an old address were mistakenly given a provisional ballot when they should have received a regular ballot.

We've had several races in Franklin Co. that were close enough to recount, from the Campbell-McGregor race to the COTA levy, not to mention the nationally publicized OH-15. When we don't know why there were so many provisionals in Franklin Co., and we think that it may be because there was a difficulty in following the law, one loses a bit of confidence regarding whether or not the law was properly followed in counting the provisionals.

I've said it before, and I'll continue to say it - Matthew Damschroder has done a much better job this cycle than last in terms of keeping the public informed as to what's going on with the vote. I'd still like to see some stats, however, on how many provisionals were accepted and rejected by precinct, and the reasons for rejection. The info I have at this point doesn't add up, and these current statements only further pique my curiosity. While I can wish that this information would have been released when it was most useful for candidates, and hope that it is released before it is of absolutely no use to candidates (e.g. the Campbell Campaign's), I would maintain it is critical information in the ongoing process of making elections as transparent, fair and accurate as possible, so I do hope it will be released at some point in time, regardless.

No comments: