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October 23, 2008

Brunner Disallows Mismatch Challenges; Voters With Unmatched/Bad/Fictitious Information Get to Vote

Because to require them to cast a provisional ballot until their information can be verified would be to "disenfranchise" them. Or something.

They're not even hiding it now. They're stealing Ohio.

And the polls indicate it is close enough to steal.

Elections officials cannot challenge voters on Election Day or reject absentee ballots based solely on discrepancies from verifying new voter registrations, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said yesterday in directives to counties.

It's the latest development from the controversy about what should be done when personal information from new voters doesn't match state motor vehicle or federal Social Security records in an automatic computer check.

The Ohio Republican Party had sued Brunner to force her to provide lists of voters with mismatches to counties as a way to correct registration errors and weed out any fraud.

Although the GOP did not prevail in court, Brunner issued the directives because counties have access to mismatches by examining individual voter records.

Ohio law no longer allows challengers at the polls, but poll workers have the power to question a voter's eligibility. One of Brunner's directives says voters may not be challenged based solely on mismatch data.

The other directive says county elections workers cannot uses mismatches as the basis for not counting an absentee ballot.

An estimated 200,000 of the nearly 786,000 new registrations in Ohio this year have mismatches, Brunner's office has said.

...

Still, Ohio GOP Deputy Chairman Kevin DeWine said that Brunner has not given county elections officials access to the mismatches in a way they could realistically use to determine the reason for any discrepancy.

"At this point, she's telling elections officials what to do with information she hasn't even provided them," DeWine said. "Until she releases the 200,000 questionable registrations on file in her office, this directive is worthless."

Lawyers for the Ohio GOP met yesterday with Attorney General Nancy H. Rogers, representing Brunner, seeking a solution to the dispute out of court. But Brunner made it clear the meeting was not to negotiate.


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