Federal Court to Rule on Counting Provisional Ballots

Yes, we are the "local homeless coalition" in the Plain Dealer today.  That seems strange that the Cleveland Plain Dealer would not identify the Cleveland Homeless Coalition, and kind of a jab at us.  I mean they called SEIU by their number indicating the city of origin, but we only received  a generic homeless coalition.

Anyway, we had a hearing on the Ohio Secretary of State's attempt to eliminate the agreement we signed with the state in 2010.  Both the Plain Dealer and Dayton Daily News covered the story (Our name was mentioned in Dayton--thanks).  As we have described in previous posts, the last Secretary of State signed an agreement with us to correct a problem in which voters who had given bad information had their ballots thrown out.  They took the time to show up at the polls, but they did not have the proper ID.  They voted with a provisional ballot by giving their last four digits of their social security number, but the poll worker directed them to the wrong table to vote.  So, the individual hired and trained by the Board of Elections makes a mistake and the state wants the voter to be punished by having their ballot thrown in the trash. 

We made a common sense agreement that if you tried to vote and through no fault of your own, the county employee directs you to the wrong place your vote should still count.  It was the "bank error in your favor" Monopoly card of the voting world.  The state's position is like being arrested for a serious crime and the state discovering their mistake within 10 days, but decides to keep you in jail so they do not have to admit their mistake.  Secretary of State Jon Husted's position is that there is nothing in the law that would allow a ballot filed in the wrong place to ever count.  So, because the law is silent on poll worker error, the state is forced to disenfranchise thousands of voters. 

The real reason that they are doing this is that these provisional ballots cast in the wrong precinct actually made a difference in an election, and they did not want to happen again.  In Hamilton County, a democratic juvenile court judge was given the position in 2012 after initially losing her election in 2010.  Hamilton County Board of Elections tried to stop this, and the state legislature tried to stop this, but after a two year court battle Judge Tracie Hunter finally prevailed using our settlement.  We should know if thousands of voters will be disenfrancisedby August of 2012.