Butkovitzí Audit Reveals Errors, Mistakes in Provisional Ballots Cast in Philadelphia's 2012 Presidential Election
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Harvey Rice
Butkovitz’ Audit Reveals Errors, Mistakes in Provisional Ballots Cast in Philadelphia’s 2012 Presidential Election
PHILADELPHIA – City Controller Alan Butkovitz today released the audit of the provisional ballots used in the 2012 Presidential Election and found about 40 percent of the 27,306 ballots cast occurred because of poll worker mistakes or errors in the creation of polling books.
“Our Office sought to determine the reasons for the widespread use of provisional ballots after there was a 116 percent increase in ballots cast from the 2008 election,” said Butkovitz.
Of the total 10,591 that were cast in error, 4,899 were from voters that were in the poll books at their correct polling place, but they should not have voted by provisional ballot. Another 4,827 provisional ballots were cast due to errors in the printing of the supplemental polling books.
According to Butkovitz, 9,078 voters cast provisional ballots because they went to the wrong polling location. More notably, 70 percent of them went to an improper polling place that was not in a geographical proximity to where they were registered.
“Provisional ballots are an important part of the election process because they serve to ensure an individual’s right to vote,” said Butkovitz. “City Commissioners need to work with state officials to identify and correct the cause of errors in the printing of the poll books.”
The Controller’s auditors found that 7,637 ballots were cast by ineligible voters, which were voters not registered in Philadelphia County, no longer in the system due to failing to vote in the past two federal elections, or who already had cast a vote on a voting machine.
“The election process is a cornerstone to our democracy,” said Butkovitz. “The voters should be confident that all aspects of the process are implemented fairly and competently.”
Other problems identified with the processing of the provisional ballots included the following:
When compared to Allegheny County, which has a similar number of registered voters, Allegheny cast 3,812, or 616% less, provisional ballots than Philadelphia.
Some of the Controller’s additional recommendations included the following:
“These recommendations will reduce the number of provisional ballots cast in future elections and permit the ballots to be used properly, as intended,” said Butkovitz.
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