Last month I noted at Michigan absentee ballot with, shall we say, ISSUES. That one turned out to be a legitimate problem, ostensibly due to an unintentional error at the printer. Supposed, the error was corrected and correct ballots were sent out.
Now we have claims of similar, though maybe even more glaring, errors in the absentee ballot in Cuyahgoa County, Ohio. It seems that numbers, arrows, and common sense are all out the window on this one. There are currently at least two pictures of the ballot circulating:
(Click either for a closer view)
The one on the left surfaced first (as far as I know) and shows that following the arrows instead of the numbers will lead to Kerry votes going to Kerry, Peroutka votes going to Peroutka, and all other votes going to someone besides the candidate the arrows seem to indicate. I haven’t heard a rational explanation for the colored boxes, though I’m assuming that they were shaded by the person who posted the pic to call attention to the correct boxes for the presidential election and are not present on the actual ballot.
The one on the right surfaced later as a simple “explanation” of how the first picture was a hoax. In it, ones have been added to the numbers for Badnarik and Bush and the arrows line up with the box indicated by the number. Seems reasonable.
Except that the ‘4’ in the box for ’14’ isn’t aligned correctly in the second version. It is aligned correctly in the first version.
What a mess.
It seems that there are not supposed to be arrows at all on the absentee ballots. The arrows are for use with butterfly ballot voting machines at polling stations. Absentee voters are simply supposed to punch out the correct numbers on the card.
Another theory claims that the order of the candidates on the ballots rotates.
Before everyone gets all revolutionary about this, we need to find out which (if either) of the pictures represents the actual ballot.
As I mentioned earlier, it really appears to me that the Dems are setting the stage to challenge the Ohio results if Bush wins. If Ohio is close, and the electoral vote is close, I fully expect the Dems to claim disenfranchisement of poor and minority voters by Republicans who require people to vote in the correct precinct. Among other things.
It’s like an NFL coach that throws the red flag on a play that even he knows only has a very slight chance of being overturned in a game that he’s behind in. It’s a pain in the axe for everyone, but he’s got nothing to lose and everything to gain, so he challenges and prays.
Joe Gibbs has done this several times this season for the Redskins. None of the challenges have been upheld.
Ohio will be twice the mess that Florida was in 2000.
If it’s close. I’m not so sure that it will be.
UPDATE: Well, the Columbus Dispatch says the one with the messed up arrows is the real one, though they don’t show a picture.
UPDATE 2: Meanwhile, back on the farm: Judge OKs lack of paper records in Fla.