Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher says she has a plan to recover from the absentee ballot screw-up.
Tens of thousands of ballots went out to voters without the proper heading on the section that allows voters to say whether they want to retain three state Supreme Court Justices on the bench.
That mistake creates several problems.
The first is that without the heading, voters might inadvertently skip that race. Since the justices are being targeted by the Republican Party and Palm Beach County is a Democratic stronghold, the mistake might increase the chance they’ll be ousted.
There’s really know way to know, and no way to fix it.
But there are other serious problems. Ms. Bucher has said tabulation machines can’t be reprogrammed to count all the faulty ballots that are returned. Her plan is for workers to copy the votes from the flawed ballots onto new ballots that can be tabulated by the machines.
Note that this problem affects every single race on the ballot, from president to Senate to local referendums. Cumulatively, the workers will have to copy hundreds of thousands of votes. Human error is inevitable.
Which means that human error could be decisive in close races. The margin between President Obama and Mitt Romney is expected to be very slim, for example.
Shades of the Butterfly Ballot in 2000, which threw the presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore into chaos. But this could be even worse, with so many races potentially affected.
Operatives for both parties are fretting that there’s no way Ms. Bucher can organize a foolproof system.
Ms. Bucher says safeguards will mitigate this mistake. What do you think? Can Susan Bucher salvage the integrity of voting in Palm Beach County? Take our poll and/or leave a comment.
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