You don’t want a provisional ballot, so don’t make them give you one

This is huge for Ohio, so I would appreciate it if you would help me spread the information:

Ohio’s chief elections officer proudly hails a new program under which every registered voter will receive an absentee ballot application as a step that will “turn their kitchen table into a voting booth” in this fall’s presidential election.
Now all voters have to do is make sure that their ballots don’t end up – to stick with Secretary of State Jon Husted’s analogy – going down the electoral garbage disposal.
Husted’s plan marks the first time in Ohio history that all of the state’s nearly 8 million registered voters will receive absentee applications. But as is often the case in politics, it has drawn both widespread, bipartisan praise over further easing of the voting process and concerns over potential downsides.
Arguably the biggest worry is that voters who request an absentee ballot but later change their minds and decide to vote at the polls on Election Day will be forced to cast a provisional ballot.
In most statewide elections, relatively minor procedural missteps by poll workers or voters routinely disqualify tens of thousands of provisional votes.
“It’s going to be easier than ever to vote,” said Amy Searcy, director of the Hamilton County Board of Elections. “But it’s also going to be easier for more people to maybe run into a problem.”
Election officials anticipate that millions more absentee ballot applications being mailed out statewide – two years ago, there were only 1.1 million absentee requests throughout Ohio – will produce more potentially problematic provisional ballots.

There is, however, a simple way to avoid that pitfall.
“If you request an absentee ballot, use it,” said Tim Burke, chairman of both the county elections board and the Hamilton County Democratic Party.
“Then you don’t have to worry about any provisional problems,” Burke said.

If you request an absentee ballot in Ohio your name is marked on a poll book in your precinct as having done so. Thus, if you fill out an application for an absentee ballot and then DON’T VOTE absentee, but instead decide to vote in person, you are going to get a provisional ballot on election day, because they have to assume you voted absentee until they open the absentee ballots and discover that you did not.

You DO NOT want a provisional ballot if you can possibly avoid one. DO NOT submit the request for an absentee ballot unless you plan on voting absentee.

I’m in the camp that says this is going to be horribly confusing to people, and is another bad idea from Mr. Husted.

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91 replies
  1. 1
    EriktheRed says:

    I’m in the camp that says this is going to be horribly confusing to people, and is another bad idea from Mr. Husted.

    Bad idea for who??? Not for Mr. Husted and the Ohio GOP, certainly.

  2. 2
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    I just received this on Friday, but I’m a little suspicious that there’s a catch somehow, so I haven’t filled it out. Besides, my polling place is right next door, and I’m now used to going to the Board of Elections to early vote in person.

    Thanks for straightening out the confusion. I hope someone informs the people about this. OFA Ohio, anyone?

  3. 3
    West of the Cascades says:

    Oregon: proudly voting entirely by mail without confusion since 1999.

    If Ohio is going to send absentee ballot applications to every registered voter, why not go the step further to mail the ballots and collect votes by mail or by having places to collect ballot drop-offs?

  4. 4
    Ben Franklin says:

    ‘Chads’ come to mind.

  5. 5
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @West of the Cascades: Because Mr. Husted’s goal is not the same goal that Oregon elections officials were pursuing back in ’99.

  6. 6
    Kay says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    OFA Ohio, anyone?

    OFA Ohio are working their asses off on voting issues. I can personally attest to this. We’re now marking people who requested absentee ballots and people who plan on early vote in every canvass. The voting information script is twice as long as the Obama pitch. They’re not going to be able to reach every single voter personally and walk them thru the three methods of voting in Ohio. There is in-person. There is in-person absentee (early vote). There is no-fault absentee.

  7. 7
    👽 Martin says:

    @West of the Cascades: I’ve never understood why you couldn’t just drop your absentee ballot off at any polling place. California sends out sample ballots to every voter. Everyone I know marks theirs up as they’re planning to vote, and then brings that into the voting booth and duplicates it on the official ballot.

    The whole thing would be MASSIVELY simpler if the sample ballot were instead an absentee ballot. You could still mark it up and take it into the booth with you if you wanted, or you could mark it up and drop it in the mail, or you could mark it up and drop it in the box at the polling place. Best of all worlds.

  8. 8
    Tri-Coastal says:

    Seems like they’re doing it backwards, as to requiring provisional ballots if you’re marked as having requested an absentee ballot. In VA, if you request an absentee ballot and then show up to vote on election day, they just mark your name in the poll book as having voted in-person. Then they count the absentees after the close of voting, and throw out the absentee vote of anyone marked as having already voted in-person.

  9. 9
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Husted is, quite frankly, a sack of shit.

    No two ways about it.

  10. 10
    Violet says:

    So they’re sending absentee ballot applications to everyone? Way to be fiscally conservative! Hope the Dems in Ohio his them hard on that issue in addition to the whole voting in person angle.

  11. 11
    Tara the Antisocial Social Worker says:

    Not sure about Ohio, but here in California, the polling places all have a dropoff box for absentee ballots. So if you requested an absentee ballot but didn’t get around to sending it back, dig it up from the pile of mail on your counter and bring it to the polling place – you can avoid standing in line that way as well.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Smiling Mortician:

    This is exactly right.

    Husted’s goal is to discourage the “wrong” sort of voters (those who vote for Democrats) from voting.

    In Oregon, the goal is to maximize voter turn out, regardless of who you happen to vote for.

    Then again, our GOP isn’t totally bat shit insane, although the Christianist vermin are working on it, to be sure.

  13. 13
    Chris says:

    Florida: recently moved to Miami, but I live in kind of a dump and am rather hoping to be moved out of it… well, certainly before November 7th, so I haven’t changed my address from St. John’s County yet. Was planning on simply voting absentee this time around until I get a more stable living arrangement. Not expecting any trouble, I and my family know the guys who oversee elections in SJC.

  14. 14
    Kay says:

    @👽 Martin:

    I’m talking to people who think a request for an absentee ballot is registering to vote. They are going to submit the request and then show up on election day.

    I just wish they’d stop changing the rules every two weeks. Take a vacation, Mr. Husted. You’re not helping.

  15. 15
    👽 Martin says:

    In Gallups dailies, Obama’s net approval fell 4 to a net +6 (approval down 2, disapproval up 2) but his gap over Romney is up another point to a net +5. The approval is the 3 day rolling, so this is all post-convention and incorporates fully the jobs data. The election poll is 7 days so it’s still got pre-DNC polling in it. This should keep expanding as it dropped off a day of post-RNC/pre-DNC and added a day of post-jobs and still improved. My guess is it’ll settle at a +8 or so.

  16. 16
    Stacy says:

    Gee, how interesting that Ohio is a swing state and these types of antics are being pulled by a GOP SOS.

    Husted is doing everything possible to confuse voters and decrease the turnout. I hope the word gets out among people in Ohio about this issue.

  17. 17
    Cermet says:

    In the long run, helps democrats (working poor) but for this election will create problems. Bet they drop it soon after this electron since it would help democrats in the future.

  18. 18
    Kay says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    I just received this on Friday, but I’m a little suspicious that there’s a catch somehow, so I haven’t filled it out. Besides, my polling place is right next door, and I’m now used to going to the Board of Elections to early vote in person.

    Go to the board of elections and early vote in person. That’s the most secure method, IMO. If there’s a problem you’ll find out about it well ahead of election day, and you’ll have a chance to remedy it without resorting to a provisional ballot.

  19. 19
    becca says:

    I think the GOP and their masters are tired of democracy. The Permanent Republican Majority is getting impatient and time is running out.

    They have a small window of opportunity and they’re not getting’ any younger.

  20. 20
    PZ says:

    This change in position on Obamacare seems like both really bad politics and bad policy-

    http://2012.talkingpointsmemo......fpnewsfeed

    As everyone already knows, you can’t get rid of the pre-existing condition denial without dealing with the problem of freeriders. Also, conservatives have said total repeal over and over again. What Romney is thinking, I don’t know…

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay:

    Take a vacation, Mr. Husted. You’re not helping.

    He’s doing everything he can think of to suppress the voters who will not vote for Rmoney.

    He’s doing exactly what he’s supposed to be doing.

  22. 22
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Kay:

    Take a vacation, Mr. Husted. You’re not helping.

    I try not to ascribe evil intent in the absence of overwhelming evidence. But I’ve gotta say, I’m reasonably certain Mr. Husted is not trying to “help” in any civically responsible way.

  23. 23
    Kay says:

    I would like it best if all Ohio Democrats would just early vote in person

    Just a personal plea there :)

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @PZ:

    What Romney is thinking, I don’t know…

    He’s not thinking.

    He’s panicking.

  25. 25
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Smiling Mortician:

    My thought, too. I smell a rat-fucker.

  26. 26
    grandpa john says:

    @Kay: Kay, I strongly doubt that he has any intention of being helpful.

  27. 27
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    @Kay: Just a little further advise on early voting. I’m an election judge out here in NM and because I can’t vote the day of, I vote early at my elections board office. The early voting always seems to be more complicated than day-of voting and people are grumpy about the wait.

    Let me explain why. When you early vote at an off-precinct place, the person getting the ballot for you has to find the correct ballot for your address. That adds time and confusion to the process. When it’s explained to the waiting mobs, I think there’s more acceptance of the procedure.

    In 2008 in Santa Fe, more than 1/3 the voters early-voted. I’ll be curious to see how many do this year.

  28. 28
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Kay: I don’t see anything on voter ID from OFA in Pennsylvania on their list of events. Just meetings to canvass and phonebank. Am I missing something?

  29. 29
    Kay says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Yeah, me too. I loathe provisional balloting. We would have had a lot more push-back against these stupid laws if people hadn’t been handed this second class ballot to shut them up. They’re invalidating tens of thousands of them in Ohio because poll workers have no idea what they’re doing and they have to get each step exactly right. It’s like a freaking placebo to cure the anger and frustration that would have been there had voters simply been turned away.

  30. 30
    grandpa john says:

    @👽 Martin: he also gained 2 in Rasmussen to +4

  31. 31
    Kay says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason:

    It’s rolled in. We’re doing voter education with GOTV canvassing in Ohio. We’re there anyway, at the door or on the phone, so we’re running them thru absentee and in-person early vote. I did it yesterday, is how I know.

  32. 32
    Ronzoni Rigatoni says:

    Kay: This happened to me in the great free state of Florida last election. I applied for, but never got, an absentee ballot, but was denied anything but a provisional ballot at the walk-in polls because of the application. I bitched a fit and it took a goddam hour and a half for the bastidds to decide I was entitled to a REAL ballot. With a polling place crowded with folx, I guess they did not appreciate my screaming bloody murder over the offer of a “provisional ballot” (AKA NO ballot). I threatened to kill every MFKR who stood in my way. There aren’t many of these assholes around here who vote other than Repugnican. I suspected that my registration as a member of the American Communist Party had a lot to do with the confusion. LOL BTW, I am not a Communist. Socialist, indeed, but I haven’t made the jump (YET!).

  33. 33
    Kay says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason:

    Pennsylvania is like a perfect storm of voter suppression. Brand new extremely restrictive law and no method to ease the strain on election day (no-fault absentee and early vote, which Ohio has).

    It’s worst case for voters. There’s no room for error in that system at all. Just insane. I hope they’re ready to educate voters, because the state has carefully created the perfect conditions for a massive system failure on election day. It’s the worst system that I know of, right now.

  34. 34
    rikyrah says:

    thanks for keeping us up to date, Kay. I will spread the word.

  35. 35
    Kay says:

    @rikyrah:

    Thank you. OFA can’t spend 10 minutes with 8 million individual people explaining Ohio voting :)

  36. 36
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Kay:

    The shell-game is complex and deniable. It’s one of the things they are good at.

    Segretti would be proud.

  37. 37
    ExurbanMom says:

    Husband and I received the applications in the mail last week.

    I want to know how this is the “small government” that we allegedly want–what a huge expense this was. Eight million pieces of mail?

    I noticed it also has the “do not forward” admonition on it like some of the Republican voter suppression mail does (i.e.: if the wrong address is present, it gets sent back to the sender, and the sender then has grounds to challenge your voter registration). I’m suspicious that they will use returned mail in this fashion.

    Furthermore, this was one huge ad for Mr. Husted, his name is in large print all over the damn thing.

    Add to that the likely voter confusion this will give, and you have a clusterfuck of immense proportions. Talk about epic fail at your job…

  38. 38
    ThresherK says:

    Way OT: “Interference with catching a punt” is only a spot foul? (Tenn v. NEP.) Can someone geek me out on this? Replacement officials problem?

    If that’s the case, don’t I tell my coverage team to hit (or nearly hit) early, every time I punt the ball, at the risk of exactly zero yards punishment? It stands to reason that at some
    point the officials will miss one of these infractions, and I get a free turnover.

    Semi-related: Husted is trying to make us forget about the sack of shit that was Blackwell.

  39. 39
    Kay says:

    @ExurbanMom:

    I noticed it also has the “do not forward” admonition on it like some of the Republican voter suppression mail does (i.e.: if the wrong address is present, it gets sent back to the sender, and the sender then has grounds to challenge your voter registration). I’m suspicious that they will use returned mail in this fashion.

    I think that’s a valid concern. I will follow up on that, and see if they’re caging voters using the absentee ballot application. The “do not forward” has been used to cage voters.

    The part that makes me laugh is how vulnerable to fraud Husted’s system is! If you wanted to run a massive voter fraud, absentee ballots are the one and only way to do it.

  40. 40

    @ExurbanMom:

    Talk about epic fail at your job…

    The job he was given by his Republican masters was to suppress the vote. Since outright blocking isn’t working, he’s going for chaos instead. He’s doing his job quite industriously.

  41. 41
    Applejinx says:

    I’m in the camp that says this whole thing is a frantic attempt to create as much chaos as possible, in order to cover for a blatant lie on Election Day saying that the state goes to Romney NO MATTER WHAT votes were cast.

    Dead serious- this is the logical extension of their ‘blatantly lie’ policy.

  42. 42
    Foregone Conclusion says:

    In the UK, voter fraud has only ever really been a problem since the introduction of widespread postal voting (i.e. as of about eight years ago.) Just saying.

  43. 43
    Tim in SF says:

    I’m in the camp that says this is going to be horribly confusing to people, and is another bad idea from Mr. Husted.

    I disagree. Oregon has the best voting system of all: 100% absentee. 100% mail in and, IIRC, the highest participation in the country.

  44. 44
    cintibud says:

    @Kay: I noticed that as well Kay – caging was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw it.

  45. 45
    pragmatism says:

    Yikes. Provisional ballots give election officials the ability to throw out ballots because it is filled out wrong, etc. como esta husted? Es muy malo.

  46. 46
    AHH onna Droid says:

    @Kay: isnt that the plan? They did it before.

  47. 47
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Tim in SF:

    Add hugely liberal base, and you’re on point. Kay’s point, I think, is that there is too much room for mischief in a state that swings both ways.

  48. 48
    Kay says:

    @cintibud:

    Thanks so much both of you. That’s actually something I can personally check on, but only in the county where I live. But if they’re doing it here they’re doing it elsewhere, so I will look into it.

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    @Tim in SF:

    Right, but we now have three processes: absentee, in-person absentee (early vote) and in person election day voting. I would agree with you if we had ONE system. He’s now added one more instance where the voter can make an error.

  50. 50
    ExurbanMom says:

    @Kay: Thanks, Kay, for all you do for our state. If they are vote caging with these mailings, it needs to go to the Obama campaign, the Brown campaign, and every media outlet in the state.

    When I compare him to his predecessor (Jennifer Brunner)…just wow.

    And yes, @The Other Chuck, he was I’m sure given the mandate to suppress the vote. But it’s still depressing to believe it.

  51. 51
    elftx says:

    Kay, I read the article but am confused by “requested absentee ballot” over them sending everyone one.

    Does this mean they could force a provisional ballot on potentially all voters whether or not requested??

  52. 52
    rikyrah says:

    I, too, am against provisional ballots, because there are so many things that can go wrong with them. you are absolutely right, kay in telling folks that a provisional ballot is the last thing that you want.

  53. 53
    Tim in SF says:

    @Kay:

    Right, but we now have three processes: absentee, in-person absentee (early vote) and in person election day voting. I would agree with you if we had ONE system. He’s now added one more instance where the voter can make an error.

    Ugh. I don’t know what to think. On the one hand, I like voters to have maximum choice. On the other hand, choice is bad because people invariably screw things up.

    Maybe choice is not such a good thing.

    Maybe if people request absentee and they don’t vote absentee, they’re getting what they deserve?

  54. 54
    Kay says:

    @elftx:

    Does this mean they could force a provisional ballot on potentially all voters whether or not requested??

    No. They’re sending every voter in the state the request for an absentee ballot. Which is fine, but if you REQUEST an absentee ballot, you have to VOTE an absentee ballot. The concern is that people will think this is an option in a list of options, and it isn’t: “I can use this absentee ballot I requested, or if I feel like it I can go down and vote in person on election day”.

    Once you request an absentee ballot, you’re locked into absentee voting. But if you don’t return the request for an absentee ballot, you’re fine voting in-person.

  55. 55
    Redshift says:

    @Tim in SF:

    Ugh. I don’t know what to think. On the one hand, I like voters to have maximum choice. On the other hand, choice is bad because people invariably screw things up.

    Choice is fine if the motivation is to ensure people get to vote and have their vote counted. If the rules for “choice” instead maximize the excuses corrupt officials have to throw out ballots, it’s bad.

    The problem isn’t that “people invariably screw things up,” it’s that the rules are set up to make that more likely, and for it to remain uncorrected rather than to help them avoid screwing up.

  56. 56
    amk says:

    Tweeted Kay.

    Hope the BJ’ers will RT it or post their own tweets/FB.

    The fucking thugs are awful.

  57. 57
    dswagz says:

    Why do I feel that almost every one of mailed-in ballots is destine to end up in a trash can specifically selected by Husted hissel.

    Color me cynical, but the same guy who last week wanted to ignore a Federal order in order to benefit his partisan ploy is now suddenly willing to make it easier for anyone ever in the history of voting in this country to have their ballot counted? -He goes from an oppressive ID law to “”Ah, what the hell, forget about the ID -You can now vote from your bed for all I care”
    ???

    Hellllooooooooo?!?!?!???

  58. 58
    Redshift says:

    @Tim in SF:

    Maybe if people request absentee and they don’t vote absentee, they’re getting what they deserve?

    Think about this — when Republicans (anonymously) put out robocalls that say that to avoid long lines, Republicans are voting on Tuesday and Democrats are voting on Wednesday, is anyone who is fooled just “getting what they deserve”? If they put out robocalls on Election Day telling Democrats that they’ve got enough votes, and they don’t need to bother coming out, anyone who believes them is “getting what they deserve”?

    The first happens somewhere in Virginia in every election (though it’s always done anonymously so no one gets caught.) Republican officials were convicted of voter suppression for the second in Maryland recently.

    This is worse. This is an elected official with a long history of changing the rules to help his party in violation of his official duties doing something that is likely to confuse voters. I don’t believe we live in a country where people who get screwed out of their vote because they trust that the top election official in their state is doing his job are just “getting what they deserve.”

  59. 59
    kathy kattenburg says:

    I’m confused here. The article says that ALL registered voters in Ohio will receive an absentee ballot, whether they request one or not. So what sense does it make to tell Ohio voters that if they request an absentee ballot they should use it?

    I’m sorry, but something is very wrong with the way this new procedure is explained in the article, and if you are so concerned with people understanding, perhaps you should clear up the confusion rather than perpetuating it.

  60. 60
    Sasha says:

    It’s not a bad idea — it’s the entire point.

  61. 61
    Kay says:

    @kathy kattenburg:

    I’m confused here. The article says that ALL registered voters in Ohio will receive an absentee ballot,

    Ohio’s chief elections officer proudly hails a new program under which every registered voter will receive an absentee ballot application as a step that will “turn their kitchen table into a voting booth” in this fall’s presidential election.

    They’re not sending out absentee ballots. They’re sending out absentee ballot applications. One has to request an absentee ballot in Ohio.

  62. 62
    CarolDuhart2 says:

    @Kay: And that too makes me very suspicious. Why the two-step process? And what happens to those “applications”? Why did I get the feeling that those ballots would be mailed out (if they are mailed out) very late, too late to actually vote at all?

  63. 63
    Chris W says:

    Reposted to the Great Orange Satan.

  64. 64
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Kay:

    Take a vacation, Mr. Husted. You’re not helping.

    Aren’t we still hoping that Judge Economus will give Mr. Husted a vacation behind bars for contempt?

  65. 65
    Violet says:

    @Kay:

    I will follow up on that, and see if they’re caging voters using the absentee ballot application. The “do not forward” has been used to cage voters.

    I cannot believe they can get away with using the US Postal Service’s mail dependability as any kind of excuse to require additional residence info from a voter. If it’s not illegal, it should be.

    Less than a year ago I realized my ATM card was expired. I didn’t know why I hadn’t received a new one. I phoned my bank and they told me that a bank statement had been returned to them and therefore they stopped all my mail delivery. Sure enough, I hadn’t realized I hadn’t got any bank statements for a few months since I do all my banking online.

    The bank made NO attempt to contact me in any other way, so I didn’t know about the mail snafu. But IT HAPPENED. I have no idea why the bank statement was returned to them. We double checked the address and yes, the address they had was my address. And yes, it was the same one they’d been using for previous bank statements.

    The US Postal Service made a mistake somehow. If it can happen with a bank statement, it can certainly happen with another piece of mail. Letting that be a basis for claiming someone doesn’t live where they do live should be illegal. Returned mail doesn’t mean anything.

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    And what happens to those “applications”? Why did I get the feeling that those ballots would be mailed out (if they are mailed out) very late, too late to actually vote at all?

    I actually wouldn’t go that far. Recall that your county board of elections is composed of equal numbers of Dems and Reps and then actual (career) elections staff who probably won’t participate in a scam that would be revealed by the Democrats on YOUR board of elections. This is coming out of individual counties, although it’s a state-wide directive. I generally think Republicans stay just this side of the law. The whole rap in Ohio is Republicans vote absentee in greater numbers than Democrats (older people vote absentee) so Republicans have always shown a preference for absentee balloting. There are deadlines for mailing out absentee ballots, and those would remain in place. Also, I don’t know if this is any comfort to you, but I used to work for the postal service and absentee ballots in Ohio were treated with great care; they were sorted out and sent on with a special tag, as expedited mail. I worked in smaller rural offices, but I assume we were following some standard procedure.

  67. 67
    joes527 says:

    @👽 Martin: I do a lot of last minute business travel. In 2006 I didn’t get to vote because a trip came up after the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot.
    Since then I’ve been permanent absentee. If it turns out that I am out of town on election day, I can send the ballot in by mail. If I am in town on election day I usually just drop it off at the polling place.
    Easy peasy, and i’d never go back to waiting in line.
    So long as the state allows absentee ballots to be dropped off at polling places on election day, I’m not seeing the problem.

  68. 68
    Kay says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    I don’t know what the judge is going to do but I got a huge kick out of the groveling Husted.

    IMO, Husted got bad legal advice. Not surprising, because IMO Mike Dewine (our AG) is a bad lawyer. Republicans just sort of play musical chairs in Ohio. Once you’re elected to something or other you’re fully qualified for any position that should open up. He has a bad lawyer. He should hire competent, professional counsel, immediately.

  69. 69
    joes527 says:

    @👽 Martin: I do a lot of last minute business travel. In 2006 I didn’t get to vote because a trip came up after the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot.
    Since then I’ve been permanent absentee. If it turns out that I am out of town on election day, I can send the ballot in by mail. If I am in town on election day I usually just drop it off at the polling place.
    Easy peasy, and i’d never go back to waiting in line.
    So long as the state allows absentee ballots to be dropped off at polling places on election day, I’m not seeing the problem.

  70. 70
    Dennis SGMM says:

    IIRC J. Kenmeth Blackwell was another Ohio SoS who did his best to suppress the vote. What’s with Ohio?

  71. 71
    Yutsano says:

    @Dennis SGMM: Ohio is a battleground state that is slowly moving out of the grasp of the GOP in Presidential years. Since they can’t win it honestly, the GOP uses every trick they can to narrow the Democratic voter pool to increase their odds. This is all a direct consequence of the supposed Teatard revolution, they have one last chance to get the state for Willard and by gum they’re gonna do it by any means necessary!

  72. 72
    Ohio Mom says:

    The surprise for me was that there were only two absentee applications in the mail box, one for me and one for Ohio Dad. This is the first time in the ten years we’ve lived here that when the Board of Elections’ written us they also didn’t write the couple we bought the house from.

    We used to get four of everything. And not only did the other couple not live here, they’ve been dead for eight years (they died together in a car accident, it was the talk of the cul-de-sac). So I guess it’s true, dead people *are* eventually removed from rolls, just like the Board of Elections told me when I called them and told them them they could stop sending the other couple stuff to this address and they told me, no, they couldn’t, not yet anyway.

  73. 73
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Dennis SGMM: I wish I knew what was “up” with my adopted state. When I moved here in ’78, the Governor was a Democrat, as were both of our Senators, Glenn and Metzenbaum.

    Cincinnati City Council was mostly Blue too, and the few Republicans were of the old-fashioned sensible type (yeah, Blackwell was on Council back then but believe it or not, he started as a Democrat. It took him a while to fully blossom into what he is today).

    Now I know what happened to City Council, that was term limits. But what happened overall to Ohio? I’d love to know.

  74. 74
    Kay says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    Ohio had a dispute over counting provisional ballots in a judicial race that went on for more than a year. They had two conflicting opinions, one from the state supreme court and one from a federal court. The federal court eventually prevailed, and they counted the provisional ballots and the Democrat won. There’s usually a larger position that they’re pushing, and in this case it was “voter intent”. Conservatives would like to end the use of “voter intent” in factual analysis of close races. So they have a long-term goal, and that’s why that disputed judicial race turned into the battle of the century.

  75. 75
    burnspbesq says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Segretti would be proud.

    Probably not. Everyone I know who has actually met Segretti (and that’s a non-trivial number, since he practices law in this county and is somewhat active in bar matters) has the impression that he sincerely regrets what he did when he was young and stupid.

    But you’ve never let the facts get in the way of a good story before, and I don’t expect you to start now.

  76. 76
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Kay: Can OFA afford an ad or two explaining the voting process in Ohio? If not tv, perhaps internet (Youtube)?

    Gets frustrating that every 4 years the Repubs come out with devious ways to suppress the vote. If they would focus on good policies, they’d get the votes they’re so eager to suppress.

  77. 77
    divF says:

    @👽 Martin:
    In California, you can request an absentee ballot, and drop it off at your polling place on election day.

  78. 78
    Dee Loralei says:

    Kay will the county Dems or OFA be able to get a list of the voters who have requested an absentee ballot from this mailing? And then can they make calls to those individuals in the weeks before the election to remind those voters that they must vote absentee, that they cannot vote in person and to mail it in early?

  79. 79
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Yutsano, Ohio Mom, and Kay,
    Thank you. I conclude, and you’re all welcome to correct me if I’m wrong, that there’s a huge political divide between the voters of Ohio and that like Pennsylvania it’s based on where they reside.

  80. 80
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    @Kay: The Committee of Seventy (?) in Philly is working on it there, but I haven’t seen anything in South PA. My wife signed up to drive people to the DMV, but hasn’t heard anything back. It’s very frustrating, and time is getting short.

    Given the 12:1 ratio of contacts to votes, I figure all those weekends I worked in 2008 swayed 9 voters. I think I’d get more votes for my time if I could help already registered voters through the paperwork and drive them where they need to go to get ID.

  81. 81
    danah gaz says:

    w00t! We solved our motor-bicycle lighting problem which was this:

    1. We wanted something bright, something that wouldn’t burn out

    2. We wanted something that didn’t take batteries (we have * free * power from the motor so it didn’t make sense to muck about with a disposable power source) and we didn’t want the batteries to die while travelling, creating a safety issue – also wanted to avoid corrosion from batteries being left undisturbed for long periods.

    3. We wanted the lights to work while the bike was stopped or slow – which eliminates many dynamo configurations.

    4. We wanted it to not break the bank (keep it well under $200)

    We ended up finding a USB chargeable LED-based light kit – so the batteries are internal to the lights themselves – like an ipod, and will remain on regardless of vehicle speed. We’ve found several USB dynamos (they provide power for a USB port, which they generate using the bike’s wheel motion).

    So not only do we now have a safe, reliable, and nearly maintenance free lighting system for the bike, we can also charge up a nook, mp3 player or phone while en-route. Cool!

  82. 82
    danah gaz says:

    @danah gaz: arg! sorry for the OT thing. I meant to post this in the Open Thread. oops

  83. 83
    jonc says:

    When is an applicant’s name placed on the list of those who were mailed absentee ballots?

    That’s where the potential for abuse is: fraudulently adding names to that list and then hassling them about provisional ballots when they show at at the polls.

    Or, more obviously, just fake the list of people who vote absentee.

  84. 84
    Kathleen says:

    Thanks for the clarification, Kay. I have never received a letter like this in 40 years of voting in Ohio. I vote early at the BOE downtown and have never had a problem and intend to do so this election as well.

  85. 85
    debbie says:

    Republicans just sort of play musical chairs in Ohio.

    Yes, listening to her being interviewed at Tampa, Betty Montgomery sounded like she was feeling very left out.

    I heard on the news this afternoon that Dewine has already gotten involved on Husted’s behalf. This is good news because it will prolong the news stories.

    And if that’s not enough negative publicity for Ohio Republicans, one of the ads Romney’s running here non-stop is about how Ohio has not been better off under Obama. I can just picture Kasich grinding his teeth. How long will he be able to keep quiet?

  86. 86
    debbie says:

    Kay, do you know what’s going on with the group of military associations that are contesting the judge’s order? I heard they were, and then nothing since.

  87. 87
    debbie says:

    Kay, do you know what’s going on with the group of military associations that are contesting the judge’s order? I heard they were, and then nothing since.

  88. 88
    kathy kattenburg says:

    Thank you, Kay. I saw the word “applications,” but took that to mean the application itself constituted the act of voting by absentee ballot. I didn’t read itt as meaning the voter would be sent an application to request an absentee ballot.

  89. 89
    Percysowner says:

    @joes527:

    So long as the state allows absentee ballots to be dropped off at polling places on election day, I’m not seeing the problem.

    That would make perfect sense, but the law reads

    Return your voted ballot. You can send it by U.S. mail or deliver it in person to your county board of elections, but the return envelope containing your marked ballot must either be received by your county board of elections prior to the close of the polls on Election Day, or postmarked no later than the day before the election and received by the board of elections no later than 10 days after the election. You cannot fax or e-mail a voted ballot.

    So you can’t return it to a polling place, only the Board of Elections. Furthermore if delivered in person, the ballot has to be received by 6:00 PM the Friday before the election and must be delivered by you or an eligible family member. So, they don’t make it easy to get the ballots back. A few years ago I had to push to deliver my daughter’s ballot to the Board of Elections. I worked for a county office, and I have the right skin color, so they let me do it.

  90. 90
    Ben Franklin says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I don’t give a shite what he does now. My comment was on the USC rat-fucker of yore.

    Glad to hear your sentiments, though. It’s more context.

  91. 91
    Carl Nyberg says:

    What keeps dishonest election officials from holding the absentee ballots until the last possible day (in Dem counties) and then sending them late knowing that delays by the USPS and people not voting immediately will cause many people not to vote?

    The Ohio Secretary of State should be under monitoring by a third party, either the Justice Department or international observers. He’s made it pretty clear he’s there to abuse the process in a partisan manner.

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