Thursday, October 05, 2006

 

Absent voter ballot problems in Summit Co.

This is just one of several stories this weeks about problems with ballot applications, the ballots themselves and the equipment and systems that will be used to count these ballots. We are starting to get nervous:
But those looking for absentee ballots to arrive in the mail will have to keep waiting -- possibly for two weeks or more.

. . .

Ballots for those who walk into the board office to vote are expected to be available by this afternoon, but the bulk of absentee ballots are requested by mail.

To date, the board has received more than 10,000 requests for a mailed absentee ballot -- a number that is growing by nearly 1,000 every day.

Those voters will have to wait as long as two weeks for official ballots to be printed.

Marijean Donofrio, deputy director of the board, said the completed ballot layout is expected to be sent to the printer by the end of the week. But it could take three to 10 days or more for the ballots to be printed and sent back to the board. At that point, the board will begin mailing them out.

Voters will still have about two weeks to vote and mail back their ballots before the Nov. 7 election.

. . .

Cuyahoga Falls resident Mary Nichols-Rhodes said she was frustrated by her inability to vote on Tuesday.

"I'm very upset about this and I think it's just the beginning of the shenanigans that we're going to experience. I feel my right to vote has been hampered because I was not able to vote like I should have,'' she said.

Nichols-Rhodes, 46, a Democrat, said she had intended to go to the board with her 18-year-old niece, who was going to register for the first time.

``I wanted to vote at the board just to make it simpler and to know that my vote counted,'' she said.

Nichols-Rhodes said she and her niece intended to cast absentee ballots while they were at the board, but when she called in advance, she was told that ballots were not available.

"The hassle of it, I think, discourages people from voting when they think they are going to run into problems,'' she said. ``I just feel like there are thousands of tiny little things that try to make it more difficult to exercise our right to vote.''

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