This week, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals halted an order by the district court requiring ballots cast in the wrong polling place due to misdirection by the poll worker to be counted. State Rep. Kathleen Clyde today sent the following letter to Secretary of State Jon Husted about the decision urging him to provide voters with the tools they need to get their ballot counted.
A cop of the letter can be seen below:
November 2, 2012
Secretary of State Jon Husted
180 E. Broad Street, 16th floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Dear Secretary Husted,
The recent decision by the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals requiring ballots cast in the wrong polling place to be thrown out even if poll worker error causes the problem disenfranchises Ohio voters. The Court indicated that voters receive notification of where they vote and can look up their polling location on your website. However, both statements are false for the vast majority of provisional voters – those who have moved and not yet updated their address. These voters are not notified of where they must vote because they have moved and the Boards have their old addresses on file. Nor can these voters find their polling place on your website because your website only shows the voter’s polling location for the voter’s old address. Many county websites also provide no way for voters who have moved to find their new polling place.
I ask that you quickly provide the capability for voters to find their polling location on your website now that these voters are at greater risk of having their ballot thrown out if they rely on a poll worker’s instructions. Both tools on your website only help those who updated their address before Oct. 9. Tens of thousands of voters will show up across the state on Election Day who have moved and who are still entitled to vote under our laws.
The tools on your website also will not help the 33,000 voters who used your online registration update system but have not yet had their registration updated because of a major mistake made by your office. Given the extreme delay by your office in updating their information and the inadequate public outreach done to educate voters about the problem, you owe it to the voters to provide useful tools on your website so they know where to vote.
While we disagree on how to treat votes cast in the wrong place because of poll worker error, hopefully we can agree that the right thing to do is provide this large group of provisional voters the information they need to properly cast their vote and have it counted.
This problem will affect tens of thousands of voters, and the need is urgent. I hope you will respond accordingly.
House District 68