Thursday, December 25, 2014

Vote early to avoid problems

Turnout is high, and the two issues that appear to be most prevalent are ...

Vote early to avoid problems

PA Primary Team reports:

Committee of Seventy suggests voters get to the polls early. They close at 8 p.m., though if voters are in line then they should be allowed to vote.

The watchdog group says turnout is high, and the two issues that appear to be most prevalent are:  

Voters whose names are not in the poll book; and voters who are registered as members of one party in the poll book, but who are, in fact, registered as a member of another party.

In each case, voters are permitted to vote by provisional ballot. Properly registered and eligible voters are entitled to vote by provisional ballot if:

  • Their names do not appear on the district register (poll book) and election officials cannot determine their registration status;
  • They don’t have any identification (WHICH IS REQUIRED FOR FIRST-TIME VOTERS OR PEOPLE VOTING FOR THE FIRST TIME IN A NEW DISTRICT), even if their name appears in the poll book;
  • An election official questions their right to vote. (This can happen, for example, if the poll book indicates a voter is a registered Republican but the voter says he or she is registered as a Democrat); or
  • Both voting machines in a division break down. If at least one machine is operable, the official policy of the Philadelphia Board of Elections is that voters must use that machine rather than be given a provisional ballot.
  • Voters are required to vote by provisional ballot if they are doing so as a result of a federal or court order, or an order extending the time established for closing the polls by State law that is in effect ten (10) days before an election.
  • After April 29th, primary voters can call 1-877-VOTESPA to find out if their provisional ballot is valid and their vote counted.

Voters need to save their provisional ballot identification number, which will be given to them by a polling place official, in order to receive this information.

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The Inauguration: Jan. 20 blog brings you coverage of President-elect Barack Obama's transition into office.

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Thomas FitzgeraldThomas Fitzgerald joined The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2000, and has covered Harrisburg as well as city, state and national politics for the newspaper. He was a “boy on the bus” in the 2004 presidential campaign and during primary contests in 2000 and 1996.

Nathan Gorenstein has covered politics and government in the city, state and nation for the Inquirer. He's worked in the city hall bureau, had a stint on the business desk, and once covered the suburbs. After serving as assistant regional editor, he was named editor of the "Politics" web site.

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