Monday, October 25, 2004

What to Do If You Are Challenged at the Polls

The Dayton Daily News, the best newspaper in Southwest Ohio, does something practical and a public service to the community. They give advice about what to do if you are challenged at the polls, presumable by a Republican operative.
1. The challenger will have to state why your right to vote is being challenged. The four reasons they can challenge are that they believe you are either not 18 or older, not a U.S. citizen, not a Ohio resident for the past 30 days or not a resident of the county and precinct in which you are trying to vote.

2. One of the poll workers and you will move no less than 10 feet from the challenger.

3. You will be asked to take this oath: "Do you swear or affirm that you will fully and truly answer all of the following questions put to you, touching your place of residence and your qualifications as an elector at this election?"

3. You will be asked a series of questions about one of the four areas in which you are being challenged.

4. If you refuse to answer fully all questions or are unable to answer them fully, or your answers indicate you are too young, not a resident or a citizen, you will not be able to vote.

5. If you answer the questions to the satisfaction of the poll worker, you will be given a ballot and will be allowed to vote.

What if you want to appeal? The decisions of the poll workers are final.

What if the challenger appears to be attempting to cause delays or intimidate voters? The chief poll worker, the presiding judge, can expel them from the polling place.

Source: Oct. 20 memorandum, "Challenger and Witness Guidelines," Ohio Secretary of State's Office and the Ohio Association of Elections Officials.
I looked for a copy of this memo online at Secretary of State's website, but could not find it. I would have thought this would have been part of their PR, but I guess they might hope people are fearful and don't vote? I can find no other links or even mention of this memo but in the DDN.

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