Election Law @ Moritz

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Edward B. Foley
Free & Fair is a collection of writings by Edward B. Foley, one of the nation's preeminent experts on election law.

Information and Analysis

OH-15: The Hunt for Provisionals

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November 14, 2006

The Columbus Dispatch reports this morning that the Kilroy campaign, down by 3536, is actively searching for provisional voters to make sure they do everything they can to have their ballots counted. But Matt Damschroder, the elections director in Franklin County, says that only 5% of the approximately 10,000 provisional ballots cast in the district that are pending before his elections board are at risk of being rejected for lack of proper identification submitted at the polls. These 500 or so voters have until Friday to submit to the board the missing ID.

It remains possible, however, that a portion of these provisional ballots will be rejected for reasons unrelated to a lack of identification at the polls: for example, because the voter was not registered or attempted to vote at the wrong precinct. (Provisional voters who provided proper ID, but who nonethless fear that their ballot may be disqualified because their driver's license contains an address different from the current one, may wish on their own initiative to supply the Board of Elections with additional documentation by Friday to show that they voted at the correct precinct. After the board releases its final count next Tuesday, provisional voters are entitled to learn whether or not their ballots disqualified.)

Meanwhile, the same Dispatch story reports the parties in NEOHC v. Blackwellcontinue to negotiate over the rules and procedures for counting Ohio’s provisional ballots in this year’s election. An attorney for the State is quoted as saying that an agreement is “94 percent” complete, and both sides are scheduled to go back before federal district judge Algenon Marbley to discuss the status of the case.