Monday, September 29, 2008

Vote Early, Vote Often

Absentee voting begins in Ohio tomorrow. Voter registration continues until next week so this open a one week window where you can do your one stop voting. You can register and vote all in the same day. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled today that this is legal. Several groups including the Ohio Republican Party filed lawsuits to prevent the overlap. The concern was voter fraud:

Ohio GOP Chairman Bob Bennett was disappointed. He called the ability to immediately register and vote part of Brunner's "partisan efforts to aide the Democrat turnout strategy."

The potential for fraud was one reason the Madison County Board of Elections wanted to make newly registered voters wait to get their absentee ballots, said Donald Brey, who represented the board.

The ruling isn't a surprise. Ohio has had this overlap for many years. The difference is that this year is the first year where you can vote absentee without giving a reason.

The potential for fraud is at least a possibility. You can register and vote in Ohio w/ a utility bill, a bank statement, a government document w/ your name and address or by signing a sworn statement stating your information is correct. I suspect the reality is a lot less.

In any event, this is one area I will be analyzing when the Ohio Secretary of State releases the next list of registered voters in Ohio. At that point, we will be able to determine how many people registered during this overlap period and where they registered.