Posted: October 24, 2012
Federal Judge Announces Provisional Ballot Ruling
Judge Marbley, federal district judge in Ohio, announced from the bench a two-part ruling: (1) based on the federal Constitution, he is extending his "right location, wrong precinct" injunction to cover provisional ballots cast in the wrong polling location (as long as they are cast in the same county in Ohio); and (2) for this year's election, he is rescinding the NEOCH consent decree insofar as applied to missing names or signatures (or other "ballot affirmation errors") on provisional ballot envelopes. He indicated that a written opinion will follow in the next day or two.
Analysis will follow once the opinion is available. It appears, however, that the implication of the second part of the order is that provisional voters will be responsible for filling out their provisional ballot envelopes correctly and will not be able to claim poll worker error with respect to mistakes of that kind.