The Columbus Dispatch : Foreclosed-on voters using old addresses could snag election
Punch cards in Florida left the 2000 presidential election in limbo. Ohio’s voting-machine shortage became a source of continuing controversy in 2004.
If there’s Election Day disorder brewing for 2008, it might well be rooted in the nation’s mortgage-foreclosure crisis. In Columbus, across Ohio and in other key presidential battlegrounds, more people losing their homes means more registered to vote from addresses where they no longer live.
Although federal law ensures that most still will be able to cast a ballot on Nov. 4, Ohio voters with outdated addresses risk pre-election challenges and trips from polling place to polling place. They’re also more likely to cast provisional ballots that might not be counted.
“It’s a real issue,” said Daniel Tokaji, an Ohio State University law professor who wonders whether foreclosures might explain the increasing percentages of provisional votes cast between 2004 and Ohio’s latest election, the presidential primary in March.
Nearly 3,700 people are registered to vote at Columbus addresses the city lists as vacant, according to records maintained by the city’s code-enforcement office and the Franklin County Board of Elections.