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November 03, 2004 - Image 7

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-11-03

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 3, 2004 - 7

F.OJ Iu SMOOTH SAILING

State avoids voting problems
rampant in 2000 election race

unexpectedly short on election day. The long lines during early vot-
ing were blamed on a lack of polling sites: Just eight were assigned
during early voting, compared to 692 on election day.
At one polling place in West Palm Beach, Democratic volunteers
who were supervising the election said the only problem at their site
all day was eventually righted. Victoria Hutto, a medical student
who came to vote as polls opened, was forced to cast a provisional
ballot because she had duplicate registrations on file. But poll work-
ers were unable to reach LePore's office to get permission to open
the provisional ballots box, and Hutto was turned away.
After coming back to the polling site twice and receiving sever-
al calls from the Democratic volunteers, Hutto was finally allowed
to use a provisional ballot later in the afternoon."I'm so happy,
because I didn't think I was going to be able to vote," Hutto said.
Democratic volunteers at the Chamber of Commerce polling site
in downtown West Palm Beach said they saw no problems through-
out the day. Volunteers and poll workers at other polling places in
West Palm Beach and Lake Worth reported similar results.
Touch-screen electronic voting machines, a major source of worry
owing to reports that they are error-prone and subject to tampering,
received mostly positive reviews. All voters interviewed said they
found the machines easy to use, and many said they were better than
the butterfly ballot.
Touch-screen machines have multiplied in Florida since the
state eliminated its punch-card ballots. Palm Beach County was
among the areas in Florida with irregularities caused by punch-
card problems in 2000.
The machines exhibited some technical problems, but none of the
major crashes that some had predicted. Nine machines in a Boynton
Beach polling place were reportedly not plugged in properly and lost
battery power as a result. Officials said no votes were lost.
Carol Ann Loehndorf, chair of the Palm Beach County Demo-
cratic Party, said some voters reported that their machines displayed
votes for Bush after they had attempted to vote for Kerry.
But LePore dismissed that claim, saying the machines display a pre-
view screen before the voter submits his or her vote. Voters who make
mistakes, she said, can easily fix them before finalizing their votes.
Despite the lack of major voting problems, some residents of
Palm Beach County remained pessimistic about the state's chances
of selecting a winner without incident. Rob Rush, a police captain
who was collecting absentee ballots near the county supervisor of
elections office, said he expected recounts similar to those in 2000.
"I'll make a prediction: They'll call it at the inauguration," Rush
said.

By Donn M. Fresard
Daily Staff Reporter

The proposal to ban gay marriage in Ohio
passed decisively yesterday. Sixty-two percent
voted to ban gay marriage compared to 38
percent who voted against the ban.
Of the 11 states that voted yesterday onj
proposals to ban gay marriage, Ohio's measure
is considered the most sweeping. In addition to
stating that "only a union between one man and
one woman" will be considered a marriage, the
Ohio proposal also includes a provision to deny
legal status to a relationship "that intends to
approximate" a marriage.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Fears of a chaotic election day
in Palm Beach County, fueled by reports of thousands of missing
absentee ballots and long lines at sites designated for early voting,
were calmed yesterday by a largely unproblematic election.
As television broadcasters struggled to avoid being the first to call
Florida for President Bush, vote returns pointed more and more con-
vincingly to a Bush win in Florida. Kerry took Palm Beach County,
however, with more than 60 percent of the popular vote.
With turnout projected to be higher than usual and most voters
not used to the county's new electronic voting machines, many ana-
lysts predicted widespread problems on election day. But with a few
minor exceptions, voting in West Palm Beach and throughout Flori-
da went far more smoothly than expected, most observers said.
"My own view is that it's going to be like Y2K: Everyone
thought terrible things were going to happen, and
it was a smooth transition," Stan West, a retired
vice president of the New York Stock Exchange,
predicted yesterday morning.
Palm Beach County was the site of the 2000 elec-
tion's butterfly-ballot controversy, in which a confus-
ing ballot led many Democratic voters to mistakenly
select Reform Party candidate Pat Buchanan.
Many of the reported problems in yesterday's
election involved tricks played on registered vot-
ers before election day. Theresa LePore, super-
visor of elections for Palm Beach County, said
yesterday her office received reports of "bogus
telephone calls" instructing some voters to use
the wrong polling place or wrongly informing
them that they were not registered to vote.
But at the polls themselves, voting went largely
without incident. Visits to several sites in Palm TOP: The chai
Beach County yesterday revealed few problems. Judge Barry C
Although the county experienced long lines paring them w
lican and Denm
for early voting held in the few days before the support from
election - forcing some voters to wait up to four self-proclaime
hours - poll workers and voters said lines were Man," stops ti

r of the Palm Beach County Commission, Karen Marcus, and
ohen examine signatures on absentee ballots yesterday, com-
vith file signatures while representatives from both the Repub-
ocratic parties look on. CENTER: A Bush supporter curries
motorists on Military Road in Palm Beach County. BOTTOM: The
*d first vote recounter, who wishes to be known as "Elephant
raffic outside Palm Beach's Four Points government complex.

STUDENTS
Continued from page 1
Highlighting the situation were reports
from students and various campus polling
locations that some students who registered to
vote through the Voice Your Vote commission
were missing from their location's voter regis-
try. Students not on the registry were allowed
to cast a provisional ballot, which will then be
counted if the voter submitted a ballot to the
correct precinct.
Having registered through Voice Your Vote, a

said it registered 10,038 students, signaling
that the problem was small-scale, said Pete
Woiwode, co-chair of Voice Your Vote.
Woiwode, an LSA senior, added that his stu-
dent group followed Michigan voter guidelines
and submitted all applications by hand to the
Ann Arbor City Clerk's office before the Oct. 4
deadline.
He added that the group would get in touch
with the city clerk today to offer copies of regis-
tration to get those votes counted.
For now, the clerk's office can only speculate
that either the voters' names were misspelled or

But Michael McShea, a Republican chal-
lenger, argued that these officials were essen-
tially stripped of their right to oversee the vote.
"A poll challenger should be able to look at the
whole process. We were told that we were not
able to stand behind the voter registration table
and check (voters') IDs. They essentially emas-
culated us," he said.
Other incidences of voter intimidation boiled
over when challengers voting at Jefferson Mid-
dle School in Pontiac were so aggressive that
police were brought in to control them, said
LSA sophomore Justin Bean, who was volun-

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