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Many of Franklin County's provisional ballots will not be counted

November 10, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - About half of the 383 provisional ballots cast in the Nov. 2 election in Franklin County will not be counted, according to a county official.

The unofficial count of the provisional ballots was completed Monday and 190 are considered legitimate, according to Deputy Chief Clerk Jean Byers. In most cases, the people who cast those ballots had gone to the wrong polling place and were given the green provisional ballots on request.

The others were rejected because the people were not registered to vote in Franklin County, or had failed to properly fill out the provisional ballot application at the polling place, Byers said.

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She said two people voted at their correct precinct, but also voted elsewhere in the county using a provisional ballot. Those cases are being referred to the county attorney to determine if there was an intentional violation of state or federal election laws, she said.

It was the second time provisional ballots, required as part of the federal Help America Vote Act, have been used in the county. The first time was in the April primary, when 46 people requested them, according to Voter Registration Office records.

Provisional ballots allow people to vote if there are questions about their registration when they arrive at the polling place.

Of those 46, six were rejected, according to voter registration records.

Of the votes that were counted in the general election, Byers said the unofficial tally corresponded with results from regular balloting, with President Bush getting about 70 percent of the vote.

None of the provisional ballots affected the outcome of any of last week's local races, Byers said.

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