Provisional voting may lead to disfranchisement
The New York Times reports: When [Chicago] poll workers could not find Kelly Pierce's name on the registration rolls during the primary here in March, they told him to take advantage of a new election rule that allowed him to cast his vote using a provisional ballot.
The rule is intended to prevent one of the major problems experienced in Florida during the 2000 presidential election, when scores of voters, especially minority voters, were turned away at the polls over registration questions that could not be resolved quickly.
So Mr. Pierce, who had voted regularly since 1989, filled out his paper ballot. Election administrators then proceeded to throw it out, determining that poll workers had Mr. Pierce file it in the wrong precinct. ...
In the primary in Chicago, one in 90 ballots was provisionally cast. The majority of the 93 percent that were thrown out were disqualified because of technical errors caused by election workers; these included more than 1,200 ballots filed in the wrong precinct. Some 2,400 were discounted because affidavits were incompletely or incorrectly filled out. Only 416 provisional votes were ultimately counted. -- A Rule to Avert Balloting Woes Adds to Them (The New York Times) ***