Secretary of State Appeals Provisional Ballot Ruling

In another waste of public dollars and time, the Ohio Secretary of State is appealing the ruling that went against the State of Ohio two weeks ago.  Secretary of State Jon Husted announced that he was appealing our victory regarding the counting of provisional ballots.  I could not find much in the media about this story and there was not a press release on the Secretary of State's website yet.  Basically, he is arguing that it is a violation of Ohio law to allow a provisional vote to count if they are misdirected by a poll worker to the wrong precinct.  So, for example, if a homeless voter from 2100 Lakeside without identification, enters Sterling Rec. Center and the poll worker sends them to the table for Ward 8A instead of 3V (their proper precinct), the Secretary of State says that that provisional ballot is garbage and that voter wasted their time going to vote.  Through no fault of their own, the voters' entire ballot is lost because of bad training of the poll workers. 

Instead of spending time boosting poll worker training across the state or sending out directives to make sure that this does not happen, the Secretary of State is spending time in court trying to reduce the number of voters in Ohio.  No matter how an outsider looks at this, he is arguing that people who really want to vote but are given bad information by paid employees of the County should be punished by losing their entire ballot. And by the way, the law passed by the state legislature is silent on this specific issue, so the Secretary of State is interpreting the law to throw away ballots, and our side are interpreting the law to be on the side of the voter. 

In other local news regarding voting, NEOCH staff picked up 1,200 blank registration forms and delivered them to every shelter in Cuyahoga County.  We are working with OhioVotes, a project of COHHIO, to assure that every homeless person in Cuyahoga County this summer gets offered a registration and.or change of address card.  We will then pick those up every week to get them to the Board of Elections on time.  We have put a checklist on our website from Ohio Votes on tips to remember before voting.  We will be working to get homeless people to vote early by mail or go down to the Board of Elections during Golden week to vote.  We have had very positive feedback from the shelters so far, and hope that we can again get 2,000 homeless people to vote during this election cycle. 

We have an entire section of our website on homeless voting. 

Brian Davis

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