Sunday, March 20, 2005

NYT runs AP story on provisional ballots & Congress goes to Ohio for hearing

There are quite a few things I'd like to cover in this morning's New York Times.  However, I'm still helping The Third Estate Sunday Review with their Sunday edition.  And yes, there has been no sleep as yet.
But I want to draw everyone's attention to A12 where there's an Associated Press story:  "Counting of 2004 Provisional Ballots Varied Widely, Study Finds."  Gee, imagine that. 
And wonder too why the Times couldn't assign one of their own reporters to this story.
From the article:

Two-thirds of the more than 1.6 million provisional ballots cast in last year's presidential election were counted, but there were wide differences from state to state. Alaska counted 97 percent of its provisional votes, Delaware just 6 percent.

You can find the study the AP is reporting on at where you'll find some other things of interest.  (More on that in a moment.)

Back to the article:

A law enacted by Congress in 2002 required all states to adopt procedures to allow people whose names are not on voter lists but who believe they are registered to cast ballots that can be checked later. Provisional voting "was a success in many ways in terms of what happened in 2000 when people were turned away and had no fail-safe way of voting," said Elizabeth Schneider, one of the authors of the study.

"With provisional balloting in place, a majority of the people were not turned away; they were given a chance to vote," Ms. Schneider said.

With Delaware and five other states counting less than fifteen percent of provisional ballots, I don't know that we should be crowing about "success."  The article notes that Ohio "counted more than seventy-five percent."

But of interest at the online site ( is a story they link to (by the Associated Press) that I haven't heard of (maybe you have, I've been focusing on rallies, etc. for the last two days).  It ran on Wednesday, March 16, 2005 and it is entitled "Congressional Committee to Hold Election Hearing in Ohio."  From that article in The Beacon Journal:

A congressional committee that blasted the secretaries of state from Ohio and Florida for missing its hearing about the presidential election will hold another session in Ohio.

Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell plans to attend the House Administration Committee hearing, scheduled for Monday in Columbus, spokesman Carlo LoParo said.

Admittedly, I'm tired.  And Lord knows my math skills are spotty on a good day.  But as I understand the article, the House committee will be holding a session in Ohio this Monday, the 21st.and supposedly Kenneth Blackwell will attend. 

Back to the article:

State lawmakers and representatives from the boards of elections in Franklin, Cuyahoga, Mahoning and Allen counties also are to testify at Monday's hearing.

A Congressional committee (US Congressional, not state) is holding hearings and I know I didn't read about it in the New York Times this week.  Did anyone see it anywhere?  Isn't this news if only because Blackwell was a no-show prior?  And Lord knows, Tom Zeller Jr. needs something to ridicule so you'd think the Times would have handed him this to write up. 

Again, I hadn't heard of this hearing.  Maybe you have.  (As of Friday morning, no one had e-mailed the site about it -- -- but I haven't been able to check much of the mail this weekend.)

Now maybe I'm misunderstanding the story.  (Check the link yourself.)  I'm tired, I just want to go to sleep already.  But as I understand it, a United States Congressional committee is going to Ohio to hold a hearing.  To me that's news.  To me, it's front page news.