From the NY Times Experts are saying there could be another recount nightmare this election.
“Provisional ballots are really the Achilles’ heel of our electoral process, because in a close race that is the pressure point lawyers use to try to undo the results,” said Edward B. Foley, a law professor at Ohio State University who is one of the nation’s foremost experts on voting litigation. “The larger the number of provisional ballots cast in a state, the more vulnerable the Achilles’ heel, and Ohio has for a couple of elections used more of these ballots than most any other state.” In 2004 and 2006, Ohio, unlike most other states, increased the percentage of provisional ballots used by voters. In the 2004 presidential election, which hinged on Ohio, the margin between the candidates was about 118,000 votes, of 5.7 million cast. Of those, more than 158,000 were provisional ballots.Provisional ballots in Ohio are difficult to verify because methods vary from county to county, and therefore leading to counting inconsistencies.
“Our goal has been to get in front of this problem,” said Jennifer L. Brunner, the Ohio secretary of state, who has issued directives over the past two weeks creating uniform standards for how counties must handle the ballots. “We have more machines and voters casting ballots early and that means things should move more smoothly this time,” he said.