Saturday, September 27, 2014

Editorial: Most provisional ballots aren’t counted in Palm...

Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher continues to play ostrich on this issue. She's not talking to the Palm Beach Post and she is not responding to requests regarding the total number of countywide provisional ballots from the August 26th election. What is she hiding? It could be plenty. Oh, and then we have the mid term election coming up in November. What will happen then? Click title for link for a strong editorial article from the Palm Beach Post on the issue.
When Palm Beach County poll workers ask voters to cast provisional ballots, they don’t tell them that their votes most likely won’t count. But it’s true. If you’re asked to vote with a provisional instead of a regular ballot in this county, the odds are that it will never be tallied.
According to our analysis of five general elections from 2004 to 2012, more than half of all provisional ballots cast in Palm Beach County were never counted, a rejection rate far higher than either the national or statewide average.
The county’s rate of rejection was at its highest in the 2012 presidential election, when the county’s canvassing board disqualified an astounding 72 percent of the more than 2,000 provisional ballots cast. That was the highest rejection rate in the state and three times the national average.
Will these trends continue in the November election? Given the cause for concern, it would be instructive to know how provisional ballots were handled countywide in the Aug. 26 primary. But a month after the fact, Bucher has not released information about those ballots, or even said how many were cast. Given the stakes, such a lack of transparency is troubling.