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Government and Politics

Dems suing Husted over provisional ballots
Poll workers can no longer fill information in the provisional ballot form
This story is part of a special series.

Jo Ingles

A federal judge in Columbus has set a hearing for Wednesday morning over the latest fight of how to count provisional ballots in Ohio.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted decided Friday night that voters must fill out the identification section when they ask for a provisional ballot, not poll workers. In some cases, votes are thrown out when voters don’t fill out the information completely or correctly. Democrats want the federal judge to order that those ballots be counted.

Matthew McClellan, a spokesman for Husted, says he foresees no problems with the directive because the provisional ballot form is simple to fill out.

Listen to McClellan

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“There’s 3 steps on the form,” McClellan says. “You have to print your name, provide a form of id--be it the last four digits of your social security number, a driver’s license number--and they you have to sign your name. And since the voter is required to sign their name, it’s obviously about who is the best to fill out that form. And we just believe voters are fully capable to provide their id.”

Provisional ballots are counted ten days after Election Day and are commonly filled out when voters do not inform their board of elections they have moved to a new address.  More than 200,000 Ohioans voted by provisional ballot four years ago.  

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