Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Early Voting Allowed Ohio Without Reason Declaration

this situation is deserving of an enormous amount of scrutiny.

Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has instructed local elections boards to have policies in place to allow first-time voters to both register and vote on the same day from the start of absentee voting Sept. 30 to the voter registration deadline on Oct. 6.

The calendar glitch - approved by a Republican Legislature, signed into law by former GOP Gov. Bob Taft and used since the midterm elections in 2006 - will allow tens of thousands of unregistered voters a chance to register and cast a ballot on the same day.

Overlaps have been around for more than 20 years, and some absentee voters have cast ballots during such windows in previous elections. But this is the first presidential general election in which Ohioans can vote absentee without having to provide a reason, such as living out-of-state.

Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett has said that Brunner improperly interpreted state law and accused Democrats of trying to hijack the election.

Republicans say Ohio law requires voters to be registered for 30 days before they can be given a ballot, and that allowing same-day registration and voting is illegal. They say same-day voting creates an opportunity for voting fraud...

On the one hand, if the early voter (who registers at the time of voting) uses a paper ballot and not an electronic voting machine to submit a voted ballot, there is at least a piece of paper as a record documenting the ballot.

The elector's name can also go through a thorough review by election officials to determine eligibility for voting. In the event the voter's registration is challenged, election officials still have time to determine eligibility status.

However, what happens if a same day early voter in Ohio votes during the early week, then treks on over to Pennsylvania in a little known county wherein the voter registration rolls are bloated with names that should have been removed long ago. And that voter votes in that PA county as well.

Think such can't happen? It has. In fact, in Fayette County during the recent Primary Election, one woman reportedly voted in Greene or Washington county and then came on over to Fayette and was permitted to vote by provisional ballot. At least, the provisional ballot situation was able to be reviewed and the actual ballot was never actually cast because the woman's name was disqualified.

But what if the woman voted in Greene or Washington by Absentee and then also voted in Ohio using the same day early voting process?

Would she ever be caught? Very unlikely.

Not only could a situation like that occur.

The early voting same day registration process if a paper ballot is what will be used will likely include use of a central optical scan unit which election officials employ to cast the ballot - as is.

We all know that voters often do not thoroughly read directions on how to cast a ballot or fill out a paper ballot. documented incidents of marking the ballot and creating a double vote that is an over-vote - voting for more selections than permitted for an office.

By law, those over-voted ballots are supposed to be rejected, or voided.

But enter election officials who may have the power to determine whether or not such over-votes are acceptable potentially looking like a 'stray' mark, maybe even one erroneously caused by a crease in the paper ballot!

For this reason alone, the Ohio early voting with same day voter registration is ripe for fraud and should be more than carefully watched if permitted to continue.

What will happen in a close presidential election if absentee ballots or same day early voting ballots actually determine the outcome of this historic election?

Chaos. No matter which majority party wins.

Net the Truth Online

September 12, 2008 19:39 Age: 12 days
Ohio Republicans Sue Over Voting Rules - Wall Street Journal
BY: AMY MERRICK The Ohio Republican Party spearheaded a lawsuit Friday over an initiative from the office of Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner that would allow some early voters to register and vote on the same day.

The suit once again ramps up the battle over voting procedures in a critical swing state with 20 electoral votes. But the parties' roles are reversed from 2004: This time, a Democrat is setting the rules, and the state Republican Party is charging that the rules favor Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate.

Conflicts over voter registration and voting procedures are heating up across the U.S. as the Nov. 4 election approaches. In Wisconsin, the Republican attorney general sued a state board this week over a process of comparing voter names with driver's-license records. In Michigan, Republicans announced a plan to challenge voters based on foreclosure lists. The Florida Department of State made a last-minute announcement this week that it will begin enforcing a controversial law, which requires matching an identifying number on voter-registration forms with government databases that critics say are prone to mistakes.

In Ohio, a recently enacted state law allows residents, for the first time in a general presidential election, to vote early by absentee ballot without providing a justification. Advocates for the homeless and other groups say they will direct new voters to take advantage of the overlap between early voting, which begins Sept. 30, and voter registration, which ends Oct. 6. During that window, citizens can register and vote simultaneously. The outreach efforts are expected to benefit Democrats.

Voter Registrations Could Face Legal Challenges
by Pam Fessler

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Morning Edition, September 12, 2008 · Political groups are wrangling over voter registrations and access to the polls. In Ohio, Democrats and Republicans are fighting over interpretation of a state law, which Democrats say allows voters to register and immediately cast an absentee ballot. Republicans say that opens the door to fraud.

Ohio GOP Sues Brunner Over Implementing Same-Day Registration and Voting
Submitted by Jeff on Fri, 09/12/
...The leading election law expert in Ohio, Prof. Dan Tokaji of the Mortiz College of Law at the Ohio State University, has called the ORP's objection to the overlap "blatant voter suppression," and calls Brunner's interpretation "exactly what the law says and what it allows."

Today's lawsuit is a clear sign that the GOP is gearing up a campaign of voter suppression and intimidation across the battleground states, further evidenced by news that the GOP in Michigan plan to challenge the voting rights of homeowners who are enduring foreclosure proceedings and that a GOP official in Ohio refuses to rule out similar challenges here.

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