...Even after 34% of Such Ballots Were Rejected.
County Hears Complaints and Certifies Results.
By Brad Friedman on 11/30/2004, 1:46pm PT  

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports today that the Cuyahoga County Election Board certified election results in the county Monday and will now be passing them onto the state for final certificaiton.

Before doing so, the Election Board heard two hours of testimony concerning the 8,552 provisional ballots (34% of the total) which were rejected. Witnesses also testified that due to the questions about these ballots and other "systematic problems", the certification was being completed too quickly.

After the rejected ballots were tossed, remaining provisional ballots showed a 9,242 vote gain in Kerry's margin over Bush in the states largest county.

The Plain Dealer described some of the testimony about the questionable rejections of a number of those provisional ballots as detailed in a three-part analysis by Dr. Norman Robbins of Case Western Reserve University who also served as a volunteer with the Greater Cleveland Voter Registration Coalition:

The first list held names of 32 rejected voters the coalition said it reliably registered and delivered to the elections board. The names never made it onto the rolls or were entered incorrectly, Robbins said.

The second list contained 201 rejected voters who were on county voter registration rolls Aug. 17 but had dropped off by Oct. 26. They may have inadvertently been dropped, perhaps during a September software change, Robbins said. Elections Director Michael Vu said he doubts that happened.

The third list contained 183 voters who were on rolls Oct. 26 but given provisional ballots and rejected as not registered. Another 79 were rejected because they didn't sign the provisional ballot, which Robbins maintains they should never have had to use.

Vu also mentioned that he plans a study of the 6,000 voter registrations delivered by a different Get-Out-The-Vote group after the registration deadline had passed. Voters, in that case, likely went to the polls on Nov. 2nd assuming they were properly registered.

(In regards to that last item --- and really all of them! --- I'd be pleased if someone could explain to me why it is that we do not have same-day voter registration at the polls in the country. At least in the majority of states.)