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Accept Disputed Ballot Applications

September 21, 2008
By the News-Register

We hope Ohio Supreme Court justices act quickly on an appeal by two people who have been told their applications for absentee ballots are being rejected. We think Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is wrong in urging county elections boards to reject similar applications.

The two Cincinnati voters filled out absentee ballot applications supplied by a candidate - and forgot to check a box indicating that they are qualified to vote. In every other aspect, the applications were filled out correctly.

In similar situations that made it to court during the past several years, judges and appeals courts have held that the intent of voters ought to be the deciding factor. In this case, the two would-be absentee voters were guilty of no more than oversights in filling out their forms.

Reportedly, thousands of similar cases have occurred in Ohio. While we can see Brunner's point - that forms ought to be filled out correctly - it, again, does not seem to agree with the position taken in some courts. In order to avoid more disputes over what is certain to be a controversial election on Nov. 4, justices should allow the slightly flawed applications to be accepted.

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