COLUMBUS, Ohio – Voter advocates on Saturday criticized an order by Ohio’s elections chief dealing with the casting of provisional ballots, saying it increases the likelihood that votes could be wrongly rejected.
The advocates, including lawyers for unions that previously sued over provisional ballots, said the order by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted late Friday wrongly puts the burden of recording the form of ID used on a provisional ballot on voters, not poll workers.
This increases the statistical likelihood of some inaccuracy on the form, leading to the chance of those votes being rejected, Cleveland attorney Subodh Chandra said Saturday.
Husted is now ordering county elections boards to reject provisional ballots when ID information on a particular part of the ballot form is incomplete, contrary to a court decision on provisional ballots a week ago and contrary to statements made by attorneys for Husted at an Oct. 24 court hearing, Chandra and other attorneys said in a federal court motion late Friday.
They want the matter clarified by federal judge Algenon Marbley, who gave Husted until Monday to respond. A decision was not expected before Election Day, but Marbley indicated he’ll rule before Nov. 17, when provisional ballots are counted.