Audit: 40% of Philly provisional ballots cast due to polling errors

election vote
(Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro)

About 40 percent of the 27,306 ballots cast by Philadelphians during the 2012 presidential election occurred because of poll workers mistakes or polling book errors, according to an audit released Tuesday by City Controller Alan Butkovitz.

A total 10,591 voters were in error forced to cast provisional ballots due to the mistakes, the audit found.

Voters in Allegheny County, which has a similar number of registered voters to Philadelphia, cast 3,812 provisional ballots – 616 percent fewer than Philadelphia voters.

“Our office sought to determine the reasons for the widespread use of provisional ballots after there was a 116 percent increase in ballots cast from the 2008 election,” Butkovitz said in a statement.

Officials performing the audit found of the provisional ballots cast in error, 4,899 were on behalf of voters whose names were in the poll books at their correct polling place, but who should not have been compelled to vote by provisional ballot.

An additional 4,827 provisional ballots were cast due to errors in the printing of supplemental polling books, according to Butkovitz.

“Provisional ballots are an important part of the election process because they serve to ensure an individual’s right to vote,” Butkovitz said.

“City Commissioners need to work with state officials to identify and correct the cause of errors in the printing of the poll books.”

The audit revealed 9,078 voters cast provisional ballots because they went to the wrong polling location. Seventy percent of those voters went to an improper polling place that was not in a geographical proximity to where they were registered, according to the City Controller’s Office.

Officials also discovered several other problems, including 79 ballots still in sealed envelopes that were never counted, 73 ballots that were counted by shoudl have been rejected and, during six random samples of provisional ballots, numerous ballots that were not properly counted but should have been counted.

“The election process is a cornerstone to our democracy,” Butkovitz said.

“The voters should be confident that all aspects of the process are implemented fairly and competently.”

Butkovitz included in the audit recommendations for ensuring more accurate elections in the future.

Those include requiring the City Commissioners to perform independent reviews of provisional ballots to identify poll workers who may require additional training, requiring the checklist of procedures used in the poll book preparation process to be signed off and reviewed, increasing the election board training bonus from $20 to $50 and developing a new, more user friendly “Guide to Election Officers.”

“These recommendations will reduce the number of provisional ballots cast in future elections and permit the ballots to be used properly, as intended,” Butkovitz said.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Turkey: Voting begins in country's first direct presidential…

Some 53 million people are able to vote in the election, including 2.8 million citizens abroad. Until now, Turkish presidents were elected by parliament.

News

Libya seeks ceasefire as south Tripoli a militia…

By Patrick Markey and Aziz El YaakoubiTRIPOLI (Reuters) - Black plumes of smoke marked shell blasts and bulldozed earthen barricades mapped out the frontlines around…

Breaking: News

Russia mad about sanctions, says U.S. contributing to…

Russia reacted angrily on Saturday to additional sanctions imposed by the European Union over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they would hamper cooperation…

National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Television

'Game of Thrones' livens up Comic Con with…

By Piya Sinha-RoySAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Laughter and death did battle on Friday at HBO's "Game of Thrones" panel at Comic Con, one of the…

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.