Judge Grants Provisional Ballot Request

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UPDATE 3:20 P.M.  A federal judge has granted a request by a group of voter advocates to expand the conditions under which provisional ballots are counted in Ohio.

U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley ruled Wednesday that provisional ballots cast not just in the wrong precinct but in the wrong polling location altogether must still be counted.
The state had opposed the expansion, saying it could create Election Day chaos because of new training requirements for poll workers.
Marbley sided with the state in a second decision he issued Wednesday, agreeing to remove language from his own 2010 court order that deals with the types of identification voters are required to use when signing provisional ballot forms.
Neither the state nor the voters' advocates could say immediately whether they would appeal.


A federal judge is ready to hear arguments over proposed changes to how the state counts flawed provisional ballots.               

A 2010 decree requires election officials to count provisional ballots that were improperly completed if the mistake was due to poll worker error.               

An appeals court last week rejected the idea that poll workers are responsible for identifying mistakes.              

A proper provisional ballot requires a voter's printed name, signature and identification, such as the last four digits of a Social Security number.              

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted has asked federal judge Algenon Marbley to eliminate the portion of the 2010 decree dealing with poll worker error.             

Voter advocates say Husted is trying to get valid votes thrown out.              

Marbley planned to hear arguments from both sides Wednesday morning.