Ballot Trouble in Michigan
by RandyMI, Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:34:14 AM EDT
The Republican Secretary of State in Michigan, Terri Lynn Land, is trying to do the same thing with provisional ballots as Blackwell is trying in Ohio.
Check the extended story for details. In the meantime, I'm urging fellow Michigan kossacks to email or call her office:
Time to man our battlestations.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Democrats in Michigan sued the state's highest-ranking election official on Tuesday, arguing that voters who show up at the wrong polling place on Nov. 2 but are in the right city, village or township can cast a provisional ballot.
The state party and the Bay City Democratic Party filed a federal lawsuit in Bay City against Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, a Republican. They say she has illegally refused to count provisional ballots of voters who accidentally go to the wrong polling place for the general election.
Democrats want Land to rescind her instructions Michigan's 2,438 county and local election officials not to count provisional ballots for voters who show up at the wrong precinct.
Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer said the Help America Vote Act, which Congress passed in 2002, allows voters to cast provisional ballots if they are in the correct city, village or township. Provisional ballots are provided to voters with questionable eligibility and are set aside and counted after being inspected.
"No eligible voter should have his or her vote taken away because they mistakenly went to the wrong polling place," Brewer said in a news release.
Similar lawsuits have been filed in Colorado, Missouri and Ohio.
State Bureau of Elections Director Chris Thomas said HAVA doesn't require the state to count the provisional ballots of voters who are in the wrong polling location and refuse to go to the correct one.
"We are, under state law, required to determine if they're in the right place," he said. "It's never been an issue. ... It's always been that way that you've got to be in your polling place."
Thomas said local elections officials have been instructed to tell voters who are in the wrong place the correct location to cast their ballots.
A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for Oct. 13, said Jason Moon, spokesman for the state Democratic Party.
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