How many ways can voting go wrong?

  • Article by: PATRICIA LOPEZ and BOB VON STERNBERG , Star Tribune s t aff w r iters
  • Updated: November 20, 2008 - 11:16 PM

Some voters whose absentee ballots were rejected are stunned to find out what happened.

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littlebigboyNov. 20, 0810:42 PM

If your to dumb to follow a few simple instructions then your vote shouldn't count and you should shut up!! Voting isn't tough unless your an idiot.

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emersonjNov. 20, 0810:54 PM

The law says different. YOU shut up.

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drichNov. 20, 0811:03 PM

How about the stupid county people who sent the wrong election materials and then rejected the ballots? How about the one that said they lived at the same place for 5 years and voted in every election but was rejected for not being registered? Obviously, some mistakes have been made through no fault of the voters. Apparently you're too dumb to read the story before you comment.

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Becky55438Nov. 20, 0811:52 PM

Anyone have an explanation as to why a registered voter who has voted in the past, like in this story, would not be listed as registered? Any election judges care to comment on whether or not this type of issue comes up when people vote in person, that they just aren't registered when they have voted in the last few elections. I am hesitant to form opinions based on antedotal information, but I would like to get some kind of feel for just how often this kind of thing might happen.

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heroldNov. 20, 0811:57 PM

The rules say an absentee ballot must include a valid reason and a signature, agreed. An innocent oversight causes a rejected ballot, tough tomatoes. The intent of the "spoiled ballot" (pictured in the Strib with Norms vote crossed out and a Franken vote marked up) appears to be a vote for Franken. A mechanical-reader would probably read this as a vote for both. Use common sense. Dead people don't count? I see a court case there somewhere.

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codger1016Nov. 21, 0812:00 AM

Why did they give him an absentee ballot? I thought only registered voters could get an absentee ballot. sounds like someone screwed up, and it wasn't the voter.

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drichNov. 21, 0812:12 AM

Yes, it did come up in the precinct I worked. When they vote in person they can just register right then and vote. From the story it sounds like they were not contacted so they had no opportunity to fix the obvious mistake.

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Becky55438Nov. 21, 0812:36 AM

Thanks - If this kind of thing is not uncommon and if these people are indeed correct that they were registered, perhaps we should consider changing the recount laws so that the state automatically re-evaluates all disallowed absentee ballots, or at least those ballots where this consideration would apply; I wonder how big a challenge that would be. But I am curious as to how registrations would vanish. I've never voted absentee and after this year - I doubt I ever will.

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dtlundNov. 21, 0812:47 AM

Voters whose ballots are rejected should be notified prior to the election (if possible) letting them know why and that they can vote on election day instead. A simple postcard with some boxes for different reasons for the rejection checked. A postcard could reference a website for more info too. OR the person rejecting the ballot could give them a quick phone call (make it optional for voters to give their phone number on their ballot so they can be notified).

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MNgolfnutNov. 21, 08 1:28 AM

Absentee ballots are not processed until after the polls are closed on Election Day so unfortunately your suggested solutions would not be available. As far as the phone, some precincts (depending on size and/or voter turnout), may not get around to processing the absentees until close to midnight. Voter phone numbers are not available to election judges but even if the precinct COULD call up a rejected voter, generally speaking, I doubt they would desire to come back down at that hour.

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