Dan Tokaji's Blog
Professor Dan Tokaji
Election reform, the Voting Rights Act, the Help America Vote Act, and related topics -- with special attention to the voting rights of people of color, non-English proficient citizens, and people with disabilities

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Equal Vote
Wednesday, June 22
DNC Report on Ohio Election
The Democratic National Committee's Voting Rights Institute has issued this report on problems in Ohio's 2004 election. Among its findings:
- 28% of voters in the state reported some type of problem in voting,

- twice as many African Americans as whites reported problems at the polls,

- voters using "touchscreen" machines reported problems at a higher rate than other voters (note that this actually includes Franklin County, which didn't actually use a touchscreen system but an older form of direct record electronic technology ... and didn't have nearly enough in the election, resulting in the longest lines in the state),

- provisional ballots were "overused" (their term, not mine), with new registrants and voters who'd moved, not surprisingly, more likely to cast provisional ballots,

- election officials weren't always aware of the rules regarding provisional voting, with some failing to offer provisional ballots to voters who were entitled to them -- also not surprising, given the incomplete direction that the Secretary of State's office gave and the court orders on the subject leading up to the election,

- ID requirements were "illegally" administered, with African Americans more likely than whites to be asked to show ID,

- there were significant problems in processing new registrations, and

- people in counties using punch card and central-count optical scan voting equipment were less likely to have their votes counted (again, not a big surprise, although the report oddly finds the numbers with respect to central-count optical scan "unexpected[]" -- which shouldn't be the case for anyone who's looked at the numbers in past Ohio elections).

I'll have more on this after I've had a chance to more carefully review the report.

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