Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

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Friday, September 12, 2008

McCain campaign admits mailing 1 Million bad ballot applications to voters in Ohio

About one-third of the absentee ballot applications received at the Hamilton County Board of Elections have been ruled invalid because Republican Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign printed a version of the form with an extra, unneeded box on it.

It turns out the problem is that the McCain campaign added a box on these forms that required you to check it to confirm you were an eligible voter.

Yep, that's right- check here if you are eligible to vote.

I guess the act of actually requesting an absentee ballot doesn't qualify that.

And if you don't check it...... bingo. You get the picture.

And the McCain campaign has sent out over a MILLION of these forms. The State of Ohio and the local election boards, understandably, don't want to pay to fix the mistake on this- how much do you want to bet the McCain campaign wants to pay to fix it?

Over seven-hundred and fifty absentee applications have been rejected so far. If we're counting on absentee and early voting to help us mobilize our GOTV effort, then this is a clear and present danger to it.



Ballot snafu endangers votes

by Jon Craig • jcraig@enquirer.com
September 11, 2008

About one-third of the absentee ballot applications received at the Hamilton County Board of Elections have been ruled invalid because Republican Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign printed a version of the form with an extra, unneeded box on it.


In a narrow interpretation of Ohio law, Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner says many of the McCain forms have not been completed properly. If the box stating the person is an eligible elector -- or qualified voter – is not checked, Brunner said, the application is no good.
Even though the box is unneeded, by not checking it voters are essentially admitting they’re not eligible, Brunner said.

“I have not seen a ruling that indirectly impacts voters to the enormity of this since I’ve been here,’’ Hamilton County Board of Elections Deputy Director John Williams said of his nearly five-year tenure at the board.More than 750 absentee ballot requests in Hamilton County have been invalidated because of Brunner’s ruling, Williams said. Absentee voting begins in 19 days, or on Sept. 30. If a registered Ohio voter’s application is rejected, Brunner said, “We said you have to notify them within 48 hours and we also suggest that (Board of Elections) send them a new application.”That means county Boards of Election must contact tens of thousands of voters and ask them to fill out a new, valid form in time to vote for the Nov. 4 election. The McCain campaign says it mailed out about 1 million of the faulty forms. "The form contains the necessary requirements and has been accepted in past elections, so this election should be no different,’’ Jon Seaton, McCain’s regional campaign manager,’ said today. "Qualified voters who request absentee ballots should receive them.’’


“If I were a voter, I wouldn’t be very happy,” Brunner said. “I’m stuck with the law. You shouldn’t have to check a box.”Brunner insists she would have ruled the same way if the absentee ballot applications were printed by Sen. Barack Obama’s Democratic campaign for president.Regardless, her ruling is likely to be challenged in court. Williams said he has asked a county prosecutor how to proceed. He said state law does not require a separate box on a form, only a printed statement that the voter is a qualified elector.“This has been a huge wrench in our operation,’’ Williams said. “There’s an enormous time and cost involved,’’ Williams said. “If that box was not there, but a four-leaf clover was there, what do you do with that? What if it was a circle that was next to that? What if it was an asterisk? Effectively what she is saying is it doesn’t need to be there, but if it’s there you need to check it.”

Story here: http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20080911/NEWS0108/309110032

1 comment:

Patrick M said...

Usually, we see all our voter problems in Cleveland.

I'm not sure if you're smiling or upset about this, as it is more likely to impact the McCain-Palin ticket. But the Secretary of State made her ruling, so too bad for the McCain camp on this one.

Guess people should read the instructions a little better.