America's Election Snafus: 2001-2002

Election and Voting Problems: State by State continued

Texas

In early October, Denton County officials rushed to correct an incorrect address on forms mailed by the state Republican Party. The county is sending valid mail-in ballot applications to hundreds of voters with a letter explaining why they need to re-apply.

In El Paso County, allegations of election code violations during the March primary led to an investigation and resulted in the impounding of ballots and other voting materials. Visitors allegedly went to a local housing community and went into the homes of elderly residents who had received mail-in ballots, offering to help them vote, and, in some cases, marking the ballots in apparent violation of election laws.

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Washington

In Spokane County, many voters were unaware of changes in polling locations, leading to confusion on voting day during the September primary. The Spokesman Review reported that voters around the county found themselves searching for the correct polling place “as the county continue[d] to consolidate polling stations because of redistricting, laws that require handicapped access and efforts to cut costs.” The elections office apparently sent out notices to the county’s 220,000 voters, but the notices went out at a cheaper bulk rate so many may not have been processed until close to the primary.

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West Virginia

Kanawha County commissioners are tying to rectify an error found on absentee ballots mailed out in late September 2002. The error in ballot language explaining the rate of a levy for public services could invalidate votes based on the incorrect information unless some remedy is found. County lawyers are examining their legal options and are working on a formal proposal.

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