Ohio must count provisional ballots that were cast at the right location, but in the wrong precinct because of poll workers’ errors, a federal district judge ruled Monday.
The ruling from U.S. District Court Judge Algenon Marbley means thousands of votes won’t be disqualified in November, as they have been in past elections, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer
Marbley’s decision will likely be appealed by state election officials. It changes electoral rules established by a Ohio Supreme Court ruling that said most provisional votes cast in the wrong districts must be disqualified, even if it was a poll worker’s fault.
Marbley, referring to the 2000 Bush-Gore race in Florida that determined the presidency with a 537-vote difference, said that elections are often decided by very slim margins.
“Any potential threat to the franchise, no matter how small, must therefore be treated with the utmost seriousness,” he said.
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