October 31st, 2008 By | News | Posted In: 2008 Election

ACLU: 'Refuse to Leave'

If your eligibility to cast a vote is challenged at the polls for any reason during this election season, don’t be intimidated. Insist on receiving and casting a provisional ballot before you leave.

That’s the advice given by the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio for would-be voters who face heightened scrutiny while trying to participate in the presidential election.

The ACLU’s “Refuse to Leave” campaign is aimed at people who may be wrongfully purged from voter registration lists or challenged on Election Day. The organization recommends all voters stay at their balloting location and politely request a provisional ballot if the poll worker states they cannot issue them a regular ballot for any reason.

If a voter is denied a ballot because they are not found on the voter registration list, are successfully challenged by a precinct judge or do not provide sufficient identification, they may still cast a provisional ballot. These ballots are held for 10 days, until they are verified by the county Board of Elections and then are added to the other votes already counted.

“Provisional ballots are a last resort for most voters but they are a far better alternative than not casting a vote at all,” said Christine Link, ACLU of Ohio’s executive director, in a prepared statement. “Many poll workers around the state are less familiar with the rules surrounding provisional ballots, so voters must be knowledgeable and insistent that they receive one if they are denied a regular ballot.”

Understanding provisional ballots is especially crucial this year because of all the partisan shenanigans to suppress the vote, she added.

“Ohio has seen an unprecedented amount of partisan manipulation this election season,” Link said. “Last-minute maneuvering could threaten to disenfranchise some voters who may be challenged at the polls, bring insufficient identification or are purged from voter registration lists because of clerical errors like typos and misspellings.”

For more information, visit the ACLU’s Web site.

10.31.2008 at 07:17 Reply
Why wouldn't someone show up with sufficient identification? Do you want someone that incompetent to influence the outcome of an election? If one is "successfully challenged" by a precinct judge, doesn't that mean the person is ineligible to vote? Aren't they're both Democrats and Republicans working the polls? You know, voting is a right that carries responsibilities for the voter. Liberals have dumbed America down about as far as it can go. Homeless people can list their address as a park bench? If you're too irresponsible to have a fixed street address from which to vote, what possible reason do you have to vote? What are the homeless being told in order to get on the bus and schlepped over to the Board of Elections? What are they being promised or given?


10.31.2008 at 08:33 Reply
ThisWebsite: "Waaaaaa, I am an old, bitter white dude. Stop all this foolishness!"


11.01.2008 at 01:47
AverageJoe: do you ever have something cogent to write, or is characterizing informed political literacy as "bitter, white and male" your A Game?


11.03.2008 at 10:26 Reply
Kevin: I didn't link out to the ACLU website (and many others might not) but there is ONE reason to leave a polling place without casting a ballot: you're at the wrong precinct. One of the steps poll workers should take if a voter's name isn't in the book is to look at the street listing, and make sure the voter actually lives in the precinct. If the voter doesn't live in the precinct, s/he should be directed to the right precinct (which may be a different table in the same polling place). Remember: in Ohio, if you cast your provisional ballot in the wrong precinct, it will not be counted. So make sure you're in the right place.