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Published: Saturday, 12/9/2000

Blackwell backs adding of data

COLUMBUS - Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell said he saw no wrong in decisions of election officials in two GOP-leaning Florida counties in Florida to let GOP operatives add data to incomplete absentee ballot applications.

Had a similar situation occurred in Ohio, Mr. Blackwell said he saw nothing wrong with allowing party officials to add public record information to such documents as long as it didn't affect the most-telling characteristic of the application, the voter's signature.

“Election officials are not there to be barriers to the execution of legal votes,” he said yesterday. “They are there to facilitate the optimum number of voters to participate in the process.

“My counsel [in Ohio] would have been to make sure you're doing it in the light of day and that it is a very public process,” he said. “Under no means should somebody who has a similar problem be denied an opportunity to have the problem fixed.”

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