There were two really interesting election administration stories this morning from Missouri, on the electionline Today site.
First, was the story “Wrong ballots may prompt revote in Cole County’s Eastern District.” It appears that 144 voters in a particular precinct voted the incorrect ballot, and that as a result, the recent election might need a revote:
Register revealed Thursday that 144 voters at Our Saviors Lutheran Church, which is in Jefferson City’s Fourth Ward, voted on a Western District ballot, not an Eastern District. The district boundary runs through the precinct, and poll workers should have determined which ballot to give individual voters based on where they live.
If the judge rules that the election must be re-done, Register said his office would have to get 24 polling places ready with ballots and voting machines, as well as be prepared for absentee voting. Just getting the ballots and machines ready would cost the county $13,000.
Register said it appeared that poll workers ran their precincts, but didn’t look at what he called the ballot system. He explained that after voters signed the paperwork after presenting their voter registration card, the poll workers are supposed to look at the paperwork which should indicate what district that person should vote in. Evidently they didn’t look at that information.
And here’s an interesting voter identification story, “Voter Arrested After Not Showing Photo ID”. Here’s the story:
… An Independence man who refused to show an ID with his picture and signature ended up in jail, even though showing a photo ID is not required by law.
Missouri doesn’t have a law mandating voters present a photo ID to vote. In fact, it was ruled unconstitutional in 2006.
When Phil Lindsey went to vote he said he brought his voter ID card, a utility bill and a bank statement as his identification. But he said election workers would not allow him vote because they wanted a picture id with his signature on it.
“I handed him my voter ID card and he said that’s not enough, I handed him my bank statement and he said, ‘I want something with your signature on it and if you don’t provide it you must leave,'” he said.
Charlene Davis from the election board said judges have to learn a lot in their two hour training session and they didn’t realize that a bank statement was an acceptable form of ID even though it’s right on the list.
Davis said election judges called the Election Board for clarification but by that time Lindsey was screaming and pounding on the desk, so they called police.
Police said Lindsey was arrested for disorderly conduct.
Clearly, the election judges need better training about what constitutes acceptable voter identification in future elections, and perhaps better ways to handle potentially disruptive voters.