Sunday, November 9, 2008


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Ohio : Over 115% voter turnout in two precincts,
106% in another.

Precincts are reporting a margin of error of 100 within a group of 1000.

Is this any where close to a reasonable amount of error?

But its OK, since Obama won - right?

Brunner scolds Franklin County for glitch

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner criticized the Franklin County Board of Elections yesterday for a glitch involving provisional ballots Tuesday and had little sympathy for complaints about paper ballots delaying vote results.

Brunner said it was "clearly unacceptable" that up to 35,000 county voters might have had to cast a provisional ballot instead of a regular ballot because of a problem with the county's voter database.

While a regular ballot is counted on election night, provisional ballots -- which typically are cast by voters who don't have proper identification or move and don't update their registration -- are held for 10 days to verify eligibility.

"We'll be closely monitoring that situation, and we will work with the board to determine why the error occurred so that we can prevent that from happening again," Brunner said.

A data-processing error is thought to be responsible for flagging qualified voters in poll books, along with those whose address-verification cards were returned in the mail as undeliverable. Those voters are required to cast a provisional ballot.

Phone calls alerted the board to the problem. Poll workers got an automated phone call around 9:30 a.m. instructing them to disregard that flag and let those voters cast regular ballots.

A count of voters affected and an investigation into the matter will wait until next week, after mandatory post-election work is done, said Deputy County Elections Director Matthew Damschroder. He said it's not clear how large the problem was.

Brunner also was critical of the fact that Franklin County was citing the need to process paper ballots as one of the reasons for delaying well into yesterday evening the release of final, unofficial results.

County elections officials said they were swamped trying to process the flood of late absentee ballots as well as 14,450 paper ballots cast at the polls, in addition to the county's electronic touch-screen results.

Damschroder argued that counties should have one primary voting system, and that it's asking too much of counties that use touch-screen systems to handle so many paper ballots at the polls, as well.

But Brunner insisted that the paper ballots are for the convenience of the voter to help ease long lines and as a back-up if machines fail -- and counties that embrace the concept will perform better.

Montgomery, Butler and Stark counties also had delays that officials blamed on paper ballots, but Brunner said they use a different vendor than Franklin that doesn't have a high-speed scanner certified for use by the federal government.

Meanwhile, although Brunner didn't want to say it yesterday, state Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern didn't hesitate: Tuesday's relatively smooth election was vindication for Brunner.

Brunner, a first-term Democrat, faced almost constant criticism from Ohio GOP Deputy Chairman Kevin DeWine and Republicans nationwide --- including lawsuits and accusations that she was trying to "steal" the election.

"The only person in the state of Ohio who thought that there would be problems with how the elections would be held is Kevin DeWine and perhaps his attorney," Redfern said.

Redfern also said the GOP focus on Brunner, who was not on the ballot Tuesday but will face re-election in 2010, distracted the Republicans and allowed Democrats to "focus on our strengths."

"Had the Republicans focused on their candidates and their message, if they had one, I think they would have been an equal opponent to the Democrats," he said. "In this case, Jennifer Brunner continues to be an excellent secretary of state."

Neither DeWine nor a spokesman for the Ohio GOP could be reached yesterday. DeWine has a postelection press conference scheduled today.

When asked whether she felt vindicated by Tuesday's election, Brunner would say only that her goal was to help restore voter confidence in the state's much-maligned voting process after the problems in 2004.

"It just disappointed me," Brunner said of the GOP accusations. "I thought that a political party could do better than that, and frankly, if I were a member of a party that was being that negative, I would get tired of it."

Some Ohio votes double-counted

COLUMBUS: Elections officials say some electronic votes were counted twice in the unofficial returns reported by Franklin County, which includes Columbus.

The affected precincts are part of central Ohio's 15th Congressional District, where the race between Republican Steve Stivers and Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy remains too close to call.

Franklin County Board of Elections Director Michael Stinziano said the miscounts will be fixed today. He said it was a very smooth election overall.

One Columbus precinct has 1,066 registered voters but posted 1,138 votes. In suburban Worthington, a precinct has 534 registered voters but counted 633 votes, and another has 951 registered voters but reported 1,095 votes