Thursday, November 11, 2004
Fringe candidates may have an impact on the election after all -- if not the one just past, then maybe the next. You've probably read that the Green and Libertarian Parties, following Ralph Nader's lead in New Hampshire, are planning to demand a recount in Ohio (Zemblan patriot T.C. supplies a link to one site through which you can donate money to help cover the costs, and Zemblan patriot K.Z. has another); MoveOn may get involved as well. But the other side is hardly relaxing. Susan Madrak of Suburban Guerrilla came across this, from the Columbus Free Press:
Are the provisional ballots in Ohio being thrown out? A new rule for counting provisional ballots in Cuyahoga County, Ohio was implemented on Tuesday, November 9 at approximately 2:30 in the afternoon, according to election observer Victoria Lovegren.
The new ruling in Cuyahoga County mandates that provisional ballots in yellow packets must be “Rejected” if there is no “date of birth” on the packet. The Free Press obtained copies of the original “Provisional Verification Procedure” from Cuyahoga County which stated “Date of birth is not mandatory and should not reject a provisional ballot.” The original procedure required the voter’s name, address and a signature that matched the signature in the county’s database.
Lovegren described the clerks as “kind of disturbed” after the new ruling came down. She said that one of the clerks told her, “This is new. This just came down. They just changed it in the last thirty minutes.” According to Lovegren, 80 yellow-jacketed provisional ballots piled up in the hour and 45 minutes she observed. By Lovegren’s tally, three provisional ballots were rejected because the registered voters’ registration had been “cancelled.” The rest, she said, were being discarded because of no date of birth . . . .
An earlier analysis in the Free Press of the 155,428 unofficial provisional ballots recorded at the Secretary of State’s website found that a clear majority, 85,096, came from the 15 counties Kerry won. An additional 17,038 came from urban Hamilton County, home of Cincinnati, and Wood County, where Bush won with 53% and 53.5% respectively. Traditionally, Hamilton County’s provisional ballots are disproportionately cast in the African American majority wards of the central city and not in the affluent Republican-dominated suburbs. Thus, nearly two-thirds (65.7%), or 102,134, provisional ballots come from areas where the provisional ballots are likely to be pro-Kerry.