I Experienced Poll Worker Error

by - November 04, 2014

The second mistake was arguably worse, presenting the risk of disenfranchising the voter (in this case, me).  A new poll worker took the "eligible to vote" slip I received at the check-in table after signing my own name (having pointed out the first mistake to the youngster who was very apologetic).  The new poll worker took me to a DRE touchscreen machine, which she activated.  The first screen to appear showed three or four precincts--all the ones that were voting in the same polliing location (a synagogue).  The poll worker accidently pressed the icon for the wrong precinct.  I happened to catch it, because I know my precinct.  But if I hadn't, I would have been forced to vote a provisional ballot.  

Ohio law invalidates wrong-precinct provisional ballots, and it used to apply this rule even in the case of mult-precinct polling locations, like where I was.  The federal court of appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 2012 held that in this context, such invalidation caused by poll worker error would be unconstitutional.  Presumably, compliance with that new rule would have protected my own ballot this year (except for any particular precinct-level matter, like a local liquor rule).  But what if similar innocent mistakes affect voters in states not governed by the Sixth Circuit?
Source: Moritz College of Law | Election Law at Moritz | Article | I Experienced Poll Worker Error [Updated]

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