Sunday, November 07, 2004


the incredible shrinking ohio ballot

Update:Provisional Ballots Disqualified for Stringent Date of Birth Requirement - After the Vote. Changing the rules after the game? Why?

I was confused by the different reports regarding the Ohio Provisional Ballot estimates. I decided to scratch my curious itch. The following is a compendium of Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell's incredible shrinking ballot numbers. I believe he missed his calling as an Illusionist (insert splayed hands crossing face here), OR it took the GOP some hours to get Kenneth "on message?..." At any rate, the "disappearing ballot trick" seems to have made any possibility of a mandatory recount VANISH, or maybe ALL these press sources should vanish instead?:

Date: 11/01/04 Blackwell Statement: "200,000"
Washington Times - Ralph Z Hallow
Quote: Kenneth Blackwell, "If both parties achieve the same level of turnout, it could be razor thin and we'd have as many as 200,000 provisional ballots."

Date: 11/02/2004 Blackwell Statement: "175,000"
WKYC/NBC - quoting Blackwell

Date: 11/02/2004 Blackwell Statement: "175,000"
CNN All Politics
Quote: "Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell issued orders for counties by 2 p.m. Wednesday to report total numbers of provisional ballots. Counting of those ballots will not begin until Thursday, according to Blackwell's directive. He initially said the counting of provisional and absentee ballots would not begin for 11 days."

UpDate: 11/02/2004 Blackwell Posts: "155,428"
Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell's Website
(captured 11/09/04)

Date: 11/03/2004 Blackwell Statement: "175,000 cast" News Staff
Quote: "Blackwell said there could have been as many as 175,000 provisional ballots cast, but only 135,149 had been tallied with the precinct count at 99 percent."

Date: 11/03/2004 Blackwell Statement: "175,000"
Toledo Blade - James Drew quotes Kenneth Blackwell

Date: 11/03/2004 Blackwell Statement: "175,000"
Washington Monthly - Kevin Drum quotes Kenneth Blackwell

Date: 11/03/2004 Blackwell Estimates: "175,000"
Cincinnati Enquirer - Staff Writer Gregory Korte

Date:11/03/2004 Recount in Striking Distance
daily KOS
Quote: "if 175,000 - statewide recount position"

Resource: Section 3515.011 of the Revised OHIO Election Code
Ohio Election Law states Automatic Recount at .25% Margin

Date: 11/03/2004 Blackwell Estimates: "155,337"
Houston Chronicle Kim Cobb & Gebe Martinez

Date: 11/03/2004 Blackwell Estimates: "155,000"
LA Times / Associated Press

Date: 11/03/2004 Blackwell Estimates: "150,000"
LA Times - Sam Howe Verhovek & Henry Weinstein
Quote: "some elections officials put the number at more than 200,000"

Date: 11/07/2004 Blackwell Estimates: "155,000"
NY Times - Adam Liptak

Date: 11/02/2004 Blackwell Posts: "135,149"
Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell's Website

Background Blackwell...
1.) Blackwell tries to reject registration forms on anything less than 80lb paper stock.
2.) Blackwell told local election officials in a memo that provisional ballots cast by voters at the wrong precincts should not be counted, or even opened.
3.) Read More(on an empty stomach).
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