Saturday, November 11, 2006

Kilroy Advertising to Provisional Voters

I was in Columbus today for work. Coming out of town I heard an ad on the Buckeyes radio station. It starts with the disclosure, "I'm Mary Jo Kilroy and I approved this message." Then an announcer tells voters who cast provisional ballots to call a number to make sure your ballot is handled fairly. The announcer emphasizes that the race in the 15th Congressional District between Mary Jo Kilroy and Deborah Pryce is not resolved. There may be more but I was driving, so my notetaking ability was limited.

I heard from a colleague at the meeting that many of the provisionals turn out to be university students who got bounced to provisional land because -- duh -- their voter reg address doesn't match their drivers license. Isn't it great that we're discouraging civic engagement among our young people with this solution-without-a-problem voter ID law?

Anyway, sports radio isn't necessarily the strongest D demographic, but given that OSU students are heavily represented among the provisionals, the ad buy makes good sense. Best of luck with it.


Gloria Ferris said...


I don't understand why the voter's reg which would be in the alpha book not matching the driver's license would automatically switch the person's vote to a provisional.
In Cuyahoga County our instructions were: if the Driver's license was a former address we would simply ask the voter to sign the alpha book and add the last four digits of their social security number. If they did not want to give the last four digits over their social security number then and ONLY then would they vote provisionally.

So really those university students should have been allowed to vote regularly.

I think that the provisional voting procedures were probably the most problematic for the precincts and pollin places. The instructions were fuzzy to say the least, but our instructions on who could vote regularly quite clear and if the address in the book did not match the photo ID. The procedure was to ask the voter for the four digits of the Social Security number.

Scott Piepho said...

Agreed that's how it should have worked. One of the many problems with the Voter ID law is that when laws are complicated -- and this one is labyrinthine -- polling staff often don't understand and missapply it or use the complexity to substitute their own judgement. It sounds like that's what happened in Columbus and, from what I hear, Athens as well.