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Published: Tuesday, 10/19/2004

Blackwell alters directive on provisional balloting

Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell submitted a new directive yesterday for casting provisional ballots on election day, complying with last week's decision from U.S. District Judge James Carr.

The directive follows the ruling of Judge Carr on Thursday that voters can cast ballots at a precinct anywhere in their home county. Judge Carr ordered Mr. Blackwell to file the directive before 4 p.m. to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act.

Provisional voting allows voters whose names are not on the books to cast a conditional ballot to be counted later. The ruling means that voters don't have to vote at their home precinct. It could also result in long delays in tallying results.

Saying that the procedure will lead to confusion and fraud, Mr. Blackwell has appealed Judge Carr's decision to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. A hearing has not been scheduled.

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