Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Voting Groups Hunt "Phantom Ballots"

Some Allegheny County polling places are recording too many votes, according to voting rights advocates. They say one polling place in Wilkinsburg had ten so-called "phantom ballots," or votes in excess of the number of people who showed up on Election Day. The Pennsylvania League of Young Voters, VoteAllegheny and others will audit last November's voting records at the County Office Building to see how widespread the problem is. Mac Booker with the League says it's no coincidence that volunteers will be hunting down the "phantoms" on Friday the 13th. The groups have posted a video on YouTube describing the auditing process.

Poll workers are told to write an explanation for any overvotes. Booker says the explanations vary, but some poll workers have written that they just don't know. He says it's impossible to know whether these overvotes are empty ballots.

Booker says if phantom ballots are a widespread problem, he doesn't see any solution besides getting new voting machines. But he acknowledges that every type of voting system has its problems.

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