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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

 
Poll dance

by digby

I don't know about you, but several times in the past few years, the city of Santa Monica has changed my voting location. I went to the usual place and was directed to a different one. Once they completely shut down my usual voting place and they assigned someone to be there to redirect people to different precincts. In fact, nearly every time I've voted there has been someone who voted with a provisional ballot because their precinct had changed or someone asking for directions to the proper location.

If any of that happens in Ohio in the future you're just shit out of luck:

Under the new language, a poll worker need not direct a voter to where they are eligible, adding that “it is the duty of the individual casting the ballot to ensure that the individual is casting that ballot in the correct precinct.”
Allowing poll workers to refuse to help those who are legitimately confused about where they should vote opens the door for increased voter suppression. As state Sen. Nina Turner (D) pointed out, “Voting in the wrong precinct led to over 14,000 registered voters statewide to lose their vote in 2008.”

I realize it's our responsibility to know where to vote. But it's very easy to make a mistake and there's not much you can do about it if nobody will tell you where you should go.

And even worse, you can cast a ballot in that precinct but it won't count. Seriously:

If an individual declares that the individual is eligible to vote in a jurisdiction other than the jurisdiction in which the individual desires to vote, or if, upon review of the precinct voting location guide using the residential street address provided by the individual, an election official at the polling place at which the individual desires to vote determines that the individual is not eligible to vote in that jurisdiction, the election official shall maydirect the individual to the polling place for the jurisdiction in which the individual appears to be eligible to vote, explain that the individual may cast a provisional ballot at the current location but the ballot will not be counted if it is cast in the wrong precinct, and provide the telephone number of the board of elections in case the individual has additional questions. It is the duty of the individual casting the ballot to ensure that the individual is casting that ballot in the correct precinct.
It's up to the poll worker if they want to help you out by telling you where you need to go vote. They have the information there to tell them. It's just left up to their discretion as to whether or not to share it. I guess the next step is to see how they're picking the poll workers.

Anyone can make a mistake about their precinct. There's no reason on earth not to require poll workers to help voters figure out where they should be.This is just a punitive measure designed to lower the vote count in areas where this is likely to happen: usually urban, poor precincts.

Chalk this up to another victory by the decades long GOP Vote Suppression Project. These guys will just keep chipping away until it's perfectly legal to vote for a Democrat but it's really, really difficult for that vote to count. Kind of like getting an abortion in Kansas.


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