Monday , July 22 2024

You Can’t Vote If You Don’t Know Where to Go

One week to go until the election, and your vote won’t count if you can’t find the right place to place it. is there to help the lost and wayward:

    Welcome to

    We offer a Free nonpartison web based service to help voters find their polling site in four clicks or less.

    In the 2000 Presidential election we helped 129,000 voters find their polling site. 8000 were from Florida.

    This site was created in a reaction to the often hard to locate and impossible to remember polling site pages. For instance, if you wanted to vote in Grays Harbor County in Washinton state you would after much poking around come to this webpage: , or you can come here to And if you run into a friend on the street who wants to know where to vote, which do you tell him?

    There are 3,040 counties in the United States, and 36 percent of them have online polling data. Those 36 percent of counties hold 70 percent of the U.S. population. And we can get you there in 4 clicks or less. For the 30 percent of Americans not in one of those counties we offer an address and phone number of your local elections office.

It works very well: I found my polling place in the promised 4 clicks – make sure you know where yours is. Here in Ohio there is all kinds of maneuvering going on regarding who gets to vote and where:

    The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections must find more than 17,000 registered voters by Friday to tell them they may be culled from the rolls by Republican challengers.

    One problem: the very reason these voters are being challenged is because the elections board can’t seem to reach them.

    On Friday, the Ohio Republican Party filed papers questioning the validity of the registrations because the voters’ addresses appeared to be wrong and the mail from the elections board was being returned.

    The voters must be allowed to show that their registrations are valid before Sunday. So today, election officials will begin mailing out urgent notices to these voters to the same flawed addresses on their registration forms

    ….County prosecutors said the burden should be on Republicans to prove that a voter registration is invalid. But how much evidence is enough? That’s one of the questions that local election officials around the state hope will be answered today by Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, Ohio’s chief election official.

    The Republican Party challenged about 35,000 voter registrations statewide, saying many were fraudulent. But that number dwindled on Monday, when the party withdrew about 4,700 challenges in Hamilton County because of discrepancies with the precincts listed on the party’s forms, said Jason Mauk, a Republican spokesman.

    Election officials also reported errors with 2,800 challenges filed in Franklin County.

    Others found that some voters were legitimate and had updated their voting records recently. About 100 of the 900 voters challenged in Lucas County appear to be valid so far, said Paula Hicks-Hudson, the county’s election director.

    Some of those challenged included active military personnel who are stationed overseas. []

And it gets worse:

    The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has botched the registrations of more than 10,000 voters, preventing them from heading to the ballot box next week, according to a lawsuit filed late Monday.

    The Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections, the Alliance of Cleveland HUD Tenants and seven residents sued the board in federal court and claimed election board employees failed to enter new registrations on voter rolls, update changes sent in by voters and enter addresses correctly.

    The suit wants the board to place the voters on the county rolls before the election, and it seeks to have a monitor placed on the case to help in the process.

    ….Attorneys Avery Friedman, Stephen G. Thomas and Sarah J. Moore said the board failed to process voter registration appli cations correctly and failed to notify applicants of any potential problems.

    Venita Meridith of Bedford registered twice “just to make sure,” according to the suit. She never heard from the board until she went there Oct. 2. A clerk told her that she wasn’t registered but to wait a couple of weeks. She submitted a third form but has not yet heard from the board.

    The attorneys said federal law prevents election officials from denying people the right to vote because of an error or omission on a voter registration application where such error is not material in determining whether a person is qualified to vote in the election.

    The suit said that once a person registers to vote, the information is placed on a registration card and entered into a computer database.

    If the board becomes aware of a discrepancy or believes the information is incomplete, then the applicant is placed on the “Fatal Pending List.” If the person can be notified and the error can be fixed, the person can vote. If not, there is little chance.

    On Sept. 17, there were more than 10,000 names on the list. As of Monday, the suit claims, few errors have been corrected. []

And watch out for those dirty tricks:

    Last week, a stranger knocked at Richard Bencin’s door in Brecksville and asked: “Mister, would you be interested in an absentee ballot?”

    He asked for Bencin’s presidential preference and offered to take care of voting for him.

    Bencin figured it was more likely that the stranger wanted to cancel his vote.

    It’s a felony for anyone but a close relative to turn in your absentee ballot, let alone to fill it out for you.

    Jane Platten, an elections administrator in Cuyahoga County, said the rising ruses include fibs that Election Day, Nov. 2, has been postponed from its centuries-old place in the calendar.

    ….Officials said not to be fooled if a stranger claims to represent the elections board or the League of Women Voters. These groups seldom make unsolicited calls or visits.

    Elections leaders urge residents not to give absentee ballots or any personal information to strangers. Instead, call the boards with any questions about voting or suspicions of fraud.

    The boards have already mailed notices about new polling places.

    Cuyahoga County and Lake County are also sending general information to all registered voters. Residents in these counties should call their boards if they don’t get the information in a few days. []

Check out Ohio’s “go vote, you knucklehead” TV spots here and here.

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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