State Rep. Phillips Concerned About Provisional Ballot Process

By
Andrew Fowler

Dateline
Updated Mon, Dec 3, 2012 6:06 pm

Nearly one month after Election Day, politicians are still debating about the conditions under which provisional ballots are counted in the State of Ohio.

State Representative Debbie Phillips (D-Athens) said she believes some Ohio citizens have not had their voices heard in this year's election and has cited several problems with the way provisional ballots are counted in the state. 

She said some voters' ballots are being wrongfully purged and rejected, and worries that some ballots are not being counted because of errors caused by poll workers or glitches in the system.

Phillips said she wants information about the rejected provisional ballots to be public record to find out if the ballot should be counted.

"We have some open records requests currently underway, and if necessary, the discovery process through a lawsuit could be used," she said.

Phillips has accused the Secretary of State's office of ordering board of election offices to not release the information.

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted said that's not true, but added that there are certain rules that boards of elections must follow.

"There are restrictions about what we can make available under the Help America Vote Act," he said. "The actual envelope, under the Help America Vote Act, I believe, is not a public record."

Provisional ballots are of particular concern in the 98th district election, where the race for state representative is still not settled.

After an official count last week, Republican Al Landis came out on top of Democratic challenger Josh O'Farrell by 14 votes, prompting an automatic recount.

There are almost 100 provisional ballots in that race that Democrats think should be counted that were not.

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