This is a call for immediate communication to voters and field action.
For 100,000 absentees outstanding in Ohio – outstanding thanks to Jon Husted's first-ever mailing (unsolicited!) to every registered voter in Ohio, and the confusion that ensued – we need to help those 100,000 LIMBO outstanding voters to cast a TODAY ballot. It will take action to keep them on a Today (regular) ballot instead of a provisional (17 days from now) ballot.
If an absentee-request-limbo voter tries to go vote in their polling place, after requesting an absentee ballot from the mailer and later not returning the ballot early, their name will pop up on a list and they'll be diverted by the pollworker over to provisional to avoid a possible double vote considering the absentee ballot outstanding.
Because of this rule, there's one sure way I see for these voters to get a Today, non-placebo, non-deferred vote. As instructed by SoS, and news digests, the voter MUST BRING his/her absentee ballot that they requested TO their County BOARD of Elections.
How to enlist OFA field workers, and transportation to accomplish this? I'm asking the community here. (As for me, I don't reach out to party folks for better or worse. I write. I write on the web, and I write elsewhere. That's me.) Here's very, very handy list of the BoEs for 88 counties.
How convenient or helpful is this list? It's formatted like this, for example, for a county:
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
(Monday - Friday)
Telephone: (513) 632-7000
Fax: (513) 579-0988
All on 1 page, all 88 counties. Of course, a single voter only needs one, but still it's handy without a lot of cross-linking to see what you need.
From instructions, I don't see encouragement that a voter could take the absentee ballot to the polling place instead of county BOE, and hand it in there. That would be tons more convenient. I just don't see it. Of course, perhaps if a poll worker is willing to wave you into a voting matching in exchange for her/him taking and destroying the absentee ballot you bring, or if they instead could just be intake for a completed absentee (in lieu of you using voting machine). It depends on the state's procedures and training. All I see is instruction that you can bring it to the County BOE until the times the polls close.
My feeling is Ohio voter advocates MUST organize multiple ride stations to BOE for 88 counties, or for many, many of the populous ones. And get the word out fast so those voters don't go first to the polls and be stranded in Provisional-land.
This could be the margin. That is my first message, for Ohio. I will continue this with PA. I will post it first, then keep writing, to get the word out as early in the day as I can.
Good news first -- for Transit riders in S.E. Pennsylvania, who need tranportation to the polls.
If you held a weekly SEPTA pass for last week, or an October monthly pass, here's comes a free ride for you in southeast PA, thanks to SEPTA transit; SEPTA is making amends to riders for shutdown last week for the hurricane disruption.
I'll cover that before getting to the voting challenge.
SEPTA is giving back (2 days free rides) to anyone who had a weekly pass for last week or a monthly pass for October. It covers the 5 SEPTA counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia.
Starting Monday [that's yesterday], customers can receive a credit when they turn in their current passes - for the week of October 29 or the month of October - and purchase a future weekly or monthly pass. The credits will cover the two days service was disrupted - Monday, October 29 and Tuesday, October 30.Next ...
Weekly customers can put their credit toward a pass purchase for any week in November, through the week of November 26. Monthly passes will be credited through January 2013. The transaction will take place at locations where customers normally purchase their weekly and monthly passes. Customers can simply turn in their passes, and have the following amounts deducted from their new purchase ...
The good fight to win in Pennsylvania will not be as high a hurdle. It's simply overcoming a (sanctioned and funded) disinformation campaign, and do it early in the day.
The state has an ad & billboard & pollworker training campaign to request Voter ID, a state issued or university photo id with an expiration date. However, no matter how much a pollworker or challenger tries to summon a photo ID from you, it is not required for almost any voter.
A state judge struck down the voter ID requirement for the November 12 election, deferring it to future elections.
Unfortunately, the judge let the "education" campaign about showing voter ID to continue, despite no requirement. There's the main confusion. If anyone tries to insist, let them know the Voter ID law was struck/deferred for the present election, as a requirement for the voter. But not struck as a communication transaction for the pollworker. Made for chaos. Can fight it with knowledge.
One qualifier about this to note: if it's your very first time voting in a general or federal election in your state, AND if you registered remotely (not at an Elections office) without supplying requested identifying numbers or info, then your state can expect you to bring some ID when you show up to vote (this doesn't apply if you registered in person, not online, or supplied sufficient ID). Your state, not just Pa., can do require this in this case because of the 2002 federal HAVA (Help America Vote Act), a misguided law passed by Congress. So that exception is administered in Pennsylvania and other states.
Apart from that one situation, Pennsylvania cannot deny you a regular ballot on account of the new Voter ID law that was invalidated by the court.
Don't let a misinformed poll worker convince you otherwise.