Monday, October 18, 2004
Florida Vote Watch: Wrong Precinct Provisional Ballots Don't Count
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- People who cast a provisional ballot at the wrong precinct aren't entitled to have their votes counted, the state Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday, rejecting an argument by labor unions that the rule wrongly disenfranchises voters.
The court said that the law clearly states that provisional ballots must be counted only if the person was entitled to vote "at the precinct," and that the constitution gives the Legislature the authority to dictate voting rules.
Under Florida law, if a voter shows up at a polling place but officials there have no record of them being registered, they are given a provisional ballot. That ballot is then held until officials determine if the person was entitled to vote at that precinct and hadn't already voted.