Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More Delays in Counting Votes

The vote count in Ohio's 15th congressional district is on hold while a federal judge studies briefs submitted to him by lawyers for Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy and Republican Steve Stivers. Here are some news articles about the case and the count.
The News-Messenger:

A federal judge in Columbus says he’ll decide by Thursday whether to allow disputed provisional ballots to be counted in a tight central Ohio congressional race....
...An estimated 1,000 ballots are in dispute because of defects such as voters failing to both print and sign their names....


....Provisional ballots are required when voters fail to update their registrations, don't bring adequate ID to the polling place or when their names don't appear in the poll books. The ballots are held a minimum of 10 days and checked for eligibility. Typically, about 83 percent of provisional votes are accepted.

To Republicans acting on behalf of congressional candidate State Sen. Steve Stivers, the law is clear: Provisional ballots that lack a printed name and a signature on the ballot envelopes should be discarded. The GOP wanted the case heard by the Ohio Supreme Court, but Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner not only had a different interpretation of the law but filed successfully to have the case heard in federal court.

Franklin County used ballot envelopes that differ from those used in Madison and Union counties, which also are in the 15th District, where Stivers has a 400-vote lead over Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy. Franklin County requires that voters print their names, while Madison and Union counties have poll workers fill in the voters' names....

Let me repeat that last line----

....while Madison and Union counties have poll workers fill in the voters' names....

Of course, Stivers and his Republicans want to throw out those ballots in Democratic-leaning Franklin County! In Madison and Union Counties, which lean right, the margin of error is reduced because of the manner that the ballots are handled. Stivers, a former bank lobbyist, may file other lawsuits, despite the fact that he pushed through laws in the legislature to reduce nuisance suits.

We need to keep our fingers crossed that Kilroy wins this!