Who Really Won?

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Provisional Ballots?

Don't really count...

Counting the ballots.

They're better odds than Lotto. Still, if you were one of 27,451 Florida voters forced to cast a provisional ballot in the 2004 election, chances are your vote didn't count.

Two-thirds of all provisional ballots submitted in the general election were rejected, according to a Tallahassee Democrat analysis of reports provided by the state's 67 county supervisors of elections.


Provisional ballots were required for the first time nationwide in the 2004 election as a way to give elections officials more time to verify ballots of voters whose eligibility was in question. It would be expected that most voters who don't show up on the voting rolls would be ineligible to vote.

Still, the high rejection rate gives some election activists pause.

"That's not a viable solution to just discard thousands of votes of people trying to exercise their civic duty," said Reggie Mitchell, legal director for Election Protection of Florida. "They're showing up and actually trying to vote at a polling place, and by some technicality, their vote gets thrown out."