Sep 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Another ballot pitfall: "Awful ovals"

a photo of someone dealing with the circles
Photo: Alan Diaz/AP

Some remember this guy from the "hanging chad" drama of 2000 — Judge Robert Rosenberg of the Broward County (Fla.) canvassing board.

The state of play: We may soon see more scenes like that. Axios on Friday reported about the "naked ballot" worry in Pennsylvania. Ballots have to be returned in an envelope inside an envelope.

Now "awful ovals" — poorly filled-in circles — could lead to contested ballots, AP's Christina Cassidy writes:

  • What if you circle a name, or use an X or a checkmark, rather than filling in the oval? Or cross out one oval and then fill in another?
  • What will the humans do? What will the optical scanners do?

The bottom line: Voters marking ballots at home could lead to an increase in mistakes that are typically caught at the polling place.

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