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Published: Sunday, 11/2/2008

Some Ohio voters receive multiple absentee ballots


CLEVELAND - As many as 100 voters in Cuyahoga County received multiple absentee ballots in the mail, a newspaper reported yesterday.

About half of the county's residents who received two ballots are registered twice, the (Cleveland) Plain Dealer found in a review of records.

The county's elections director, Jane Platten, said the mishap likely is the result of voter confusion or clerical errors. She said voter fraud is highly unlikely.

Republicans have said Ohio's election system is vulnerable to fraud, while Democrats have said the complaint is just a diversion from real election issues.

More than a dozen people who received two ballots told the newspaper on Friday that they did not vote twice.

"If you have a database of 1.1 million voters, there's always the potential for operator error," Ms. Platten said. "It happens, absolutely. We know we have duplicates in the system that we are consistently trying to minimize and clean up. But it cannot be absolutely pristine."

The newspaper's review also found up to 13 cases of double ballots in Franklin County and three in Summit County.

Up to 10,000 people in Cuyahoga County may be registered twice, the newspaper said.

People can get multiple registrations by moving, changing their names through marriage or divorce, and by submitting multiple cards.

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