HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » How the Boards of Electio...

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 08:39 AM

How the Boards of Elections stop people from voting twice

Last edited Thu Sep 3, 2020, 11:20 AM - Edit history (1)

While this is how it's done in Ohio, I suspect the same is true in other states, because it really is fairly simple and standard (Poll worker since 2008)

Every county has a database of registered voters. When someone requests and is sent an absentee ballot, that voter's record is flagged. There is a cut-off date for requests and the precinct poll books are printed after that cut-off. If there is early in-person voting, those voting then are also flagged as having voted. The night before the election, there is a supplemental list of last minute voters sent to the precinct manager and the poll books are updated before the polls open.

If someone comes in and says they did not receive the absentee ballot or didn't send it in, they have to vote provisionally. Provisional ballots are usually done on paper and sealed in an envelope with the voter's identifying information and signature. These ballots are then set aside and not counted until they have been checked at the BOE to make sure that person is registered and that no previous ballot for them was submitted. People who vote provisionally in Ohio are given a paper that tells them where they can call to see if that vote was counted (usually 10 days after the election).

I am glad to answer any questions.

EDITED TO ADD---In Ohio and at least some other states, you can check on-line to see if your ballot was counted (here, we can get an email telling us where the ballot is in the process). Check your state for a "track your ballot" option.

26 replies, 1127 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply How the Boards of Elections stop people from voting twice (Original post)
Maeve Sep 2020 OP
GulfCoast66 Sep 2020 #1
Maeve Sep 2020 #2
Coleman Sep 2020 #3
Maeve Sep 2020 #8
MineralMan Sep 2020 #4
Wounded Bear Sep 2020 #11
MineralMan Sep 2020 #13
Maeve Sep 2020 #21
world wide wally Sep 2020 #5
mucifer Sep 2020 #9
fierywoman Sep 2020 #6
Maeve Sep 2020 #7
Lars39 Sep 2020 #10
Maeve Sep 2020 #12
Lars39 Sep 2020 #15
Gothmog Sep 2020 #14
bluestarone Sep 2020 #16
Maeve Sep 2020 #18
bluestarone Sep 2020 #20
Ms. Toad Sep 2020 #17
Maeve Sep 2020 #19
Buckeye_Democrat Sep 2020 #22
Maeve Sep 2020 #24
Buckeye_Democrat Sep 2020 #25
Cha Sep 2020 #23
crickets Sep 2020 #26

Response to Maeve (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 08:41 AM

1. Yep. And if they vote twice they can be referred for prosecution.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 08:44 AM

2. If they TRY to vote twice, yes

Mostly, they never get the chance to succeed!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 08:53 AM

3. At least in FL

If you were sent an absentee ballot, but go to vote in person, you must turn in your unopened absentee ballot. If you do this, you will get an actual ballot. If you don't then you will be given a provisional.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Coleman (Reply #3)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 09:52 AM

8. We have folks try to do that in Ohio, but our law is different

Here, once you request absentee, you are expected to vote it (and it has to be turned in at the county BOE, not at a polling place). Variations, but both work

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 08:56 AM

4. Most states probably have a similar routine.

Going to the polling place and trying to vote is not how you find out if your mail-in ballot was received and accepted. A visit to the State's election website is how you do that. As far as I know, every state has a way for voters to check whether their mail-in ballot has been received and accepted for counting.

Trump is apparently recommending that his followers commit a felony by voting twice. Shame on him!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 09:57 AM

11. Trump is not just being an idiot when telling people to vote twice...

It is illegal to vote more than once, everywhere.

But Trump is not just being an idiot here. He's encouraging people to go stand in line and clog up the polls with people who can't legally vote in the hopes that he can block legitimate voters from getting to the polls easily. More artificially increased wait times intended to discourage voters.

Anything that suppresses the votes tends to favor Repubs.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #11)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 10:07 AM

13. We are smarter than they are, I think, or hope.

Democrats should vote early, using whatever options are available in their states. We should also encourage others to do the same, ensuring that Democrats vote in large numbers, before election day or on election day. We should help everyone who will have difficulties to vote as well.

Let the Republicans do stupid things, following the lead of Trump. We can do smart things and win.

Instead of decrying what Republicans do or plan to do, Democrats should simply vote in whatever way works best for each of us. Vote early or on election day, but just go and cast our votes and ignore the Republicans and their stupidity.

That's my recommendation. That's what I plan to do.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #13)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 03:06 PM

21. I usually vote by mail, but this year I think I'll vote early in person

Hubby wants to do that and I'd like to vote with him again for once!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 09:16 AM

5. Somebody send this to Bill Barr

He has no clue other than what Trump tells him to do.
Idiot

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to world wide wally (Reply #5)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 09:54 AM

9. barr does what he is paid to do which is treason

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 09:17 AM

6. Thank you for "saying" this out loud!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to fierywoman (Reply #6)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 09:42 AM

7. I saw some confusion so I wanted to clarify things

It really isn't difficult, but most people haven't had to deal with the process and so don't know. I've been a paper judge for many years--that means I'm the one who works with the provisional ballots and those who choose to vote paper instead of machine. Ohio now uses electronic poll books, but the process is the same as it ever was.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 09:54 AM

10. We don't have printed poll books anymore.

Everything is on computer or IPad.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Lars39 (Reply #10)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 10:06 AM

12. That is true in Ohio

But the process is really the same--only the supplemental list is on a flash drive instead of a piece of paper. The voters are still flagged if they have already voted or have requested absentee.

BTW, I love the electronic poll books--the old paper ones were a pain in the neck!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Reply #12)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 10:19 AM

15. But at least with the printed poll books

you have a chance of your signature matching your voter registration card. My signature looks different from one digital effort to the next.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 10:12 AM

14. This is the same in Texas

You cannot check in a voter if they were issued an absentee ballot. This is the one time where I do not find a voter voting provisionally because these provisional ballots will be counted so long as the absentee ballot does not show up

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 10:27 AM

16. TY for your expertise here!

One question i would have is there a way to tell QUICKLY if a Ballot is not a FAKE ballot?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bluestarone (Reply #16)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 11:16 AM

18. Assume you mean absentee

As I recall, the ballots are barcoded. They are sent back in pre-printed envelopes with identifying voter info and signature. To fake a ballot, you'd have to have the right type of paper, the correct ballot for the specific precinct for a specific voter and their identifying info (SS#, etc) and signature, correct envelope and then there is the right bar code, so.....

I suppose someone could try to send fake ballots to real voters to mess with the system, but the BOE would figure that out quickly and there would be a criminal investigation immediately.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Reply #18)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 12:10 PM

20. Yes you are correct!

I hear about Russia trying to send out fake ones, so good to hear your opinion! TY for your service at the polling stations!!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 11:01 AM

17. Absolutely correct - I've been an observer since 2004 -

and have fielded lots of angry questions from people who have been advised never to vote provisionally, who don't believe it when they are told by the pollworker that they cannot vote a non-provisional ballot.

This is a situation in which you are required to vote provisionally - once you request an absentee ballot and change your mind and want to vote in person you are not permitted to vote an in-person non-provisional ballot.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 11:23 AM

19. One other note--at least some states have a system to track your absentee ballot

In some other states, you can check on-line to see if your ballot was counted. Check for a "track your ballot" option. In Ohio, we can even get an email telling us our ballot was received and accepted.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 04:18 PM

22. Yes, and I just mailed a SECOND absentee ballot application...

... after my local Board of Elections told me the same. Once I'm in their system to receive an absentee ballot, further requests will simply be ignored.

I mailed another one because my request from about three weeks ago still hasn't been processed! I asked the lady at the BOE if they're overloaded with the requests, and she replied that they've done a decent job of processing them soon after they're received. If true, that implies the delay for me is USPS-related!

My first absentee ballot application came from a group called "Center For Voter Information". I compared the application to the one listed online for Ohio, and they matched. The postage-paid envelope they included was also correctly addressed to my local BOE. Here's a thread that I created last month about it:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/100213861641

So could the postage-paid envelope have caused a delay? From what I've read online about those types of envelopes, YES THEY CAN! From the USPS Inspector General website:
https://www.uspsoig.gov/blog/business-reply-mail

Instead of hoping that the BOE gets that postage-paid envelope SOMEDAY, I decided to just mail another one and put a first-class stamp on it this time!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Buckeye_Democrat (Reply #22)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 05:58 PM

24. The Postal Service is a wildcard in all this

Hubby and I got applications for absentee ballots in the mail this week but we're leaning toward in-person early voting instead. Spent so much time in the house this year, a trip out to vote together seems almost like a date! (Pathetic, ain't it?)

The Center for Voter Information is at least sending out "proper" applications---my Mom got one from the Republican party that was on a POST CARD...yeah, I want my identifying info and signature going out that way. Sheesh...(she waited until the official application came and I mailed it for her this week)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Reply #24)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 06:33 PM

25. I agree, but I feel a bit "locked in" now.

I don't want to vote on a provisional ballot later, so I'll just wait for the absentee ballot which won't get mailed out until after Oct. 6th for me (non-military).

I figured the original application might FINALLY get there and be approved not long before the deadline, forcing me to scramble, so I sent another one. (Maybe I should have just put a damn stamp on the first one with the pre-paid envelope?)

After I get an actual absentee ballot, I will review it carefully to avoid any mistakes and then quickly deliver it directly to the BOE. I'm not going to trust the postal service with the actual ballot.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 04:28 PM

23. KICK!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Maeve (Original post)

Thu Sep 3, 2020, 08:03 PM

26. Thanks, Maeve. K&R for visibility.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread