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Provisional Ballots

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NEWS
November 3, 2004 | By Maria Panaritis and Keith Herbert INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
For the first time in a presidential election, provisional ballots were used in most states, including Pennsylvania, where there were scattered reports of shortages and confusion over the new method of voting. Under a 2002 federal law, prospective voters can use provisional ballots if there are questions about their eligibility to vote. The large turnout and high number of first-time voters left some Pennsylvania officials from Allegheny County to eastern Delaware County without enough ballots.
NEWS
December 6, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia's city commissioners moved a step closer Wednesday to understanding why voters had to cast more than twice as many provisional ballots in the 2012 presidential election as in 2008, but the initial review raised as many questions as it answered. Many of the problems occurred because of mistakes by poll workers and voters themselves, according to a preliminary report by Gregory Irving, the commissioners' acting voter registration administrator. In 2012, 27,355 voters cast provisional ballots, up from 12,733 in 2008.
NEWS
December 8, 2004
Not long ago in Pennsylvania - as recently as the 2000 presidential election - there would have been few remedies for nearly 54,000 voters turned away because their names weren't on the rolls. In Philadelphia, these voters could have spent the next several hours making an appearance before a local elections-court judge who might, or might not, affirm their right to vote. In the suburbs, they would have had to make the possibly long trek to the county seat to lodge an appeal.
NEWS
November 9, 2013 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY Mayor Lorenzo Langford took to the airwaves Thursday to say he had not quite meant to fully concede the race to challenger and declared victor Don Guardian on Tuesday night. With unofficial results showing Guardian leading by 347 votes, Langford told Harry Hurley on talk radio WPG 1450 he would wait for 518 provisional votes to be examined. The Atlantic County Board of Elections initially said it would meet Friday to do just that, then abruptly canceled that meeting shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday "until further notice due to lack of a quorum," said Linda Gilmore, a spokewoman for the county.
NEWS
November 21, 2012 | BY JAN RANSOM, Daily News Staff Writer ransomj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
BECAUSE MORE THAN 27,000 voters were required to cast provisional ballots on Election Day, City Controller Alan Butkovitz announced Tuesday that he wants to conduct an audit of this year's election process. The number of voters who cast provisional ballots in this month's presidential election was more than double the amount in 2008, and Butkovitz said he wants to get to the bottom of it after election results are certified. "It looks like there were an awful lot of complaints by people who said they've been in the poll books for years," Butkovitz said.
NEWS
December 7, 2012 | BY JAN RANSOM, Daily News Staff Writer ransomj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
THE MAJORITY of city voters forced to use provisional ballots in the Nov. 6 presidential election should have been able to vote regularly, according to a preliminary report released Wednesday by the City Commissioners. Of the 27,355 provisional ballots cast, 14,407 were from voters listed properly in poll books or supplemental sheets, and 5,263 were from people who properly registered but weren't included in polling material. One of the primary reasons for the errors, according to the report, was that the status of voters who were not 18 when they registered was not updated before polling material was printed.
NEWS
November 7, 2012 | By Mark Fazlollah,Joseph A. Slobodzianand Andrew Seidman, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
A Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge has refused to order the Board of Elections to deliver extra provisional ballots to all polling places in the city, saying reports of ballot shortages appeared to be exaggerated. Pamela Pryor Dembe, president judge of the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, rejected a petition from Organizing for America, a ground-level arm of the Democratic National Committee. National Democrats have been leaning heavily on the City Commissioners, who oversee the Board of Elections, to send more provisional ballots based on reports that many people were not appearing in the poll books, and that polling places were running out of provisional ballots that would be their only alternative for voting.
NEWS
November 7, 1997 | By Mary Beth Warner, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
A late-night letter from the state attorney general on Election Night ordered the provisional ballots in all counties to be impounded, and that has stalled final vote counts for state, county and municipal races. Around midnight on Tuesday, when the gubernatorial race was still neck-and-neck, Attorney General Peter Verniero ordered counties to place the provisional ballots under lock and key and posted state troopers on 24-hour guard. Yesterday, the troopers remained in place as candidates and party officials across the state awaited the official results of some of the closest races.
NEWS
November 30, 2012 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two Camden County races that narrowly favored Republican candidates as of the Election Day count flipped after officials counted provisional ballots and certified the results, the county said Wednesday. Camden and 13 other New Jersey counties were granted extensions last week to certify their results. Election officials had a significant delay in counting because of Hurricane Sandy, which prompted the state to let residents vote in any county. In the Stratford Borough Council race, Democrat Frank Gagliardi trailed Republican Albert Adolf by one vote Nov. 6. But when the county certified the results Tuesday, Gagliardi, the incumbent, had won by 15 votes, according to the Camden County Clerk's Office.
NEWS
November 13, 2012 | By Bob Warner, Inquirer Staff Writer
About 27,100 people were required to vote by provisional ballot when they showed up at Philadelphia polling places last week - about double the number who were forced to use provisional ballots in the 2008 presidential election. The figures reinforce complaints from the watchdog group Committee of Seventy about the relatively large numbers of would-be voters whose names were not listed in division poll books when they arrived at the polling stations. In those situations, voters are not allowed access to the city's electronic voting machines.
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NEWS
December 9, 2013 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
NORTHFIELD, N.J. Vince Mazzeo has been to nearly 40 Bruce Springsteen concerts in Philadelphia and North Jersey. The chorus in one of the Boss' songs, "No Surrender," played over and over in the back of his mind for the last month: No retreat, baby, no surrender. That lyric, he said, got him through his toughest days as he waited to see whether his slim lead in the Second District Assembly race in Atlantic County would hold. "Because the race was so close, doubts start creeping up in your mind, but you try and stay positive," said Mazzeo, 49, as he worked the cash register Thursday at his family's grocery, B.F. Mazzeo Fruit & Produce - something he does from 6:30 a.m. to closing six days a week.
NEWS
December 5, 2013 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
MAYS LANDING, N.J. - Democratic challenger Vince Mazzeo was again declared the winner over Republican incumbent John Amodeo as a tense recount of ballots in their Second District Assembly race concluded Tuesday evening. The two finished 39 votes apart, almost exactly where they were a little over two weeks ago when certified totals had Mazzeo up by 40 over Amodeo. Vote totals were 25,166 for Mazzeo and 25,127 for Amodeo after all mail-in and provisional ballots were hand-counted in a courtroom turned boardroom in the historic former courthouse that is now the home of the Atlantic County Board of Elections.
NEWS
November 29, 2013 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
NORTHFIELD, N.J. Day Two of the voting machine recheck of the Second District legislative race wrapped up with the two affected Assembly candidates anxiously awaiting the start of the hand count of 7,500 mail-in and provisional ballots. That process is expected to start sometime Friday at the Board of Elections office in Mays Landing after the final Voting Authority signatures are verified against the machine count, said Paula S. Dunn, chairwoman of the Atlantic County Board of Elections.
NEWS
November 23, 2013 | By Suzette Parmley, Inquirer Staff Writer
MAYS LANDING, N.J. A Superior Court judge on Thursday granted Republican Assemblyman John Amodeo a full recount of the ballots in his Second District legislative race won by Democratic challenger Vince Mazzeo. Mazzeo prevailed over Amodeo by the thin margin of 40 votes, and was certified the winner Tuesday by the Atlantic County clerk and Board of Elections. Judge Julio L. Mendez granted all of Amodeo's requests, including a recheck of all voting machines used in the Nov. 5 election and a recount of all early vote-by-mail ballots, emergency ballots, and provisional ballots.
NEWS
November 18, 2013 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
MAYS LANDING, N.J. The other night, in a mostly empty old courthouse in this historic county seat, provisional ballots were wheeled before the Atlantic County Board of Elections from their secure storage place behind bars - literally - in an unused jail cell. And as hours passed and tempers frayed, drawing comparisons to the tumultuous 2000 presidential vote count in Florida, it felt like a new reality show was born: "Palm Beach County, N.J. " The count of provisional ballots last week would drag on for 20 hours over two days, including a 12-hour session lasting until nearly 3 a.m. that board Chairwoman Paula S. Dunn said left her literally sick.
NEWS
November 17, 2013 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY Superior Court Judge Julio Mendez ruled Friday that 115 of 116 challenged provisional ballots should be opened and counted in a race in which Second District Assemblyman John Amodeo, a Republican, leads Democratic challenger Vincent Mazzeo by just two votes. "The fundamental principle here is permitting votes to be counted," Mendez said. The disputed ballots - 108 which a poll worker signed as giving assistance, and the rest with disputed signatures - will be opened by the Atlantic County Board of Elections at a meeting set for 3 p.m. Monday.
NEWS
November 15, 2013 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
MAYS LANDING, N.J. With nearly all ballots counted, the race for the Second District Assembly seat remained unsettled and in a near dead heat late Wednesday as the Atlantic County Board of Elections sent more than 100 disputed provisional ballots to a Superior Court judge for evaluation Friday. The challenged ballots were mostly those where a poll worker had signed the bottom indicating having assisted the voter, but without further documentation of a disability or other reason for the assistance.
NEWS
November 14, 2013 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
MAYS LANDING, N.J. Atlantic City Republican mayoral challenger Don Guardian claimed victory - again - Tuesday night after a count of mail-in votes gave him a seemingly insurmountable lead over Democratic incumbent Lorenzo Langford. Guardian's victory speech this time was over a cellphone on speaker to a group of reporters outside the old Atlantic County courthouse, where the Board of Elections counted additional mail-in ballots that increased his lead to 433 votes. "I believe I have sufficient additional votes that would indicate that I am indeed the [mayor-]
NEWS
November 13, 2013 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
MAYS LANDING, N.J. The Atlantic County Board of Elections will examine provisional ballots Tuesday afternoon after a weekend in which Democrats accused Republicans of improperly canvassing voters who filed those ballots. Republicans, meanwhile, launched allegations of their own Monday, with the county Republican chair asking the state attorney general to investigate Democrats he said had improperly signed up voters for mail-in ballots. Two races hang in the balance of the provisionals - the Atlantic City mayor's race, in which Republican Don Guardian holds a 247-vote lead over incumbent Democrat Lorenzo Langford, and the First District Assembly race, in which Republican incumbent John Amodeo holds a 287-vote lead over Democrat Vince Mazzeo, the Northfield mayor and owner of a fruit and vegetable store.
NEWS
November 9, 2013 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY Mayor Lorenzo Langford took to the airwaves Thursday to say he had not quite meant to fully concede the race to challenger and declared victor Don Guardian on Tuesday night. With unofficial results showing Guardian leading by 347 votes, Langford told Harry Hurley on talk radio WPG 1450 he would wait for 518 provisional votes to be examined. The Atlantic County Board of Elections initially said it would meet Friday to do just that, then abruptly canceled that meeting shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday "until further notice due to lack of a quorum," said Linda Gilmore, a spokewoman for the county.
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