Monkey Business Report, early-voting edition

monkeyEarly voting for the March primary has begun.  And local elections officials have been hit with a surprising change in the last week.  According to multiple sources I talked with in local elections offices, the whole spoiled ballot concept is GONE for this round of voting.  The diktat has been issued from Raleigh. 

For those of you unfamiliar with inside baseball like this, spoiled ballots occur in several instances:  being handed the wrong ballot (party, residential jurisdiction, etc.), marking a ballot and then changing your mind about your choices,  and the like. 

It’s as one local official told me: “Once you walk in, and that ballot hits your hand, it is YOURS.  You can’t give it back.  If, say, you are handed a Democrat primary ballot, and you are a Republican, any marks you make on that ballot for partisan races will be tossed out.  The law does not allow Republicans to vote in Democrat primaries, or vice-versa. You only get ONE ballot.  If you are in a county with split legislative or congressional districts, and you get the ballot for a district you don’t live in — it’s too bad.  If you mark it, the vote is thrown out.  So, you can be disenfranchised by a mistake made by a poll worker.  THIS is a lawsuit waiting to happen.”

All of you know, as well as I do, that most poll workers tend to be senior citizens.  Those folks — believe it or not — can get confused pretty easily.  (Especially in a primary election where unaffiliateds are showing up to vote.) 

None of these local officials could offer up an explanation for the change.  Apparently, Raleigh did not offer one.


7 thoughts on “Monkey Business Report, early-voting edition

  1. People make mistakes by marking boxes with an x or check mark instead of blacking in the circle. The machines won’t read them. So they won’t get to redo them? Talk about disenfranchised voters. If I was a candidate, win or lose I would be suing the state. Are the counties so broke they can’t print up enough ballots? I hope they are ready for the crowds…in 2012 so many unaffiliated came out and took Republican ballots that precincts in Forsyth county ran out.

  2. I voted on Thursday at the Harnett County Board of Elections. The ballot I was given had me in District 4 instead of District 2. I informed them of the error. At first, I was told not to worry since it won’t be counted due to the redistricting court case; they said the proper ballot would be in June. I made my point about just being put in another district changes things on my ballot. They corrected my ballot to reflect District 2. They were totally professional about it as well.

  3. No way that Rev. Barber can be behind this. The GOP majority Board of Elections in Raleigh is in charge of rules for elections.

  4. I’m a member of one of our county board of elections. When I read this story, I decided to look into it myself.

    It’s not true. Voters may spoil their ballots up to three times.

    But if a voter spoils their ballot and leaves the voting site, for whatever reason, the voter MAY NOT later return and vote a regular ballot.

    Please see 8 NCAC 10B.0104 (page 995-96).

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