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Fewer than Half of all Provisional Ballots Cast in Missouri Actually Counted.

November 30, 2004
By: Jade Mingus
State Capital Bureau

More than 8,000 Missourians had to cast provisional ballots on election day, but officials were only able to verify less than half of these ballots. Jade Mingus tells us why these votes did not count.

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Provisional ballots allow people whose names do not appear on their offical polling place list to still cast a ballot on election day.

Secretary of State Elections Director Gayla Vandelicht says a provisional ballot will be counted only if the voter registration is verified.

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"Sometimes people move and they think that's automatic and it's not. You have to re-register when you move in a different election authority and jurisdiction, and I think that's the biggest cause probably for people thinking they were registered when they were not."

Vandelicht also says voters need to register with their county if they have any change of address because this could affect their voting locations.

Secretary of State and governor-elect Matt Blunt plans to announce the official 2004 election results on Wednesday.

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Some Missourians thought they were registered for the 2004 election when they were not.

Jade Mingus tells us why 5,000 of Missouri's provisional ballots were not counted in the 2004 election.

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Some Missourians had to cast provisional ballots at their polling place on election day because their voter registration could not be verified.

But counties across the state could only verify one in three of these voters because they were simply not registered.

Secretary of State Elections Director Gayla Vandelicht says the counties were responsible for the registered voter names that did not appear on the polling place lists.

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"There was some mistake whether it be on the part of the election authority, or maybe on the part of the judges who failed to locate the person's name on the register for some reason. For some reason their name didn't get printed in the precint register."

Vandelicht also says the Secretary of State's office was pleased with the newly implemented improvements.

Secretary of State Matt Blunt is scheduled to certify the election results on Wednesday.

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Secretary of State and governor-elect Matt Blunt plans to announce the official election results on Wednesday. Jade Mingus tells us why the results will show how fewer than half of the provisional ballots cast on election day actually counted.

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Provisional ballots are cast at polling places on election day when a voter's registration cannot immediately be verified. Secretary of State Elections Director Gayla Vandelicht says officials give Missouri counties two weeks to verify provisional ballots.

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"So,if you're a small county and you just had a dozen provisional ballots it doesn't take long. But if you are like St. Louis County and have 3,000 it takes a bit more time. They need every bit of the two weeks to do the research on those ballots."

More than half of all the provisional ballots cast could not be verified. Even if these votes did count they would not have affected any of the statewide races.