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President Bush is asking the Justice Department to look into whether 200,000 Buckeye State poll-goers must use provisional ballots on Election Day because their names do not match state databases.
White House spokesman Carlton Carroll confirmed Friday that the president will forward a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey from House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), requesting that the Justice Department look into whether the states voter rolls comply with the Help America Vote Act.
In a letter dated on Friday, the House GOP leader wrote that with Election Day less than two weeks away, immediate action by the Department is not only warranted, but also crucial.
I respectfully request that you use your authority to direct Attorney General Michael Mukasey and the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate these actions and direct the appropriate authorities in each state to comply with the Section 303 requirements of HAVA, Boehner wrote.
Unless action is taken by the Department immediately, thousands, if not tens or hundreds of thousands, of names whose information has not been verified through the HAVA procedures mandated by Congress will remain on voter rolls during the November 4, 2008 election; and there is a significant risk if not a certainty, that unlawful votes will be cast and counted.
The U.S. Supreme Court last Friday threw out a Republican-led effort in Ohio that would have required 200,000 voters to cast provisional ballots on Nov. 4 because of misspellings, incorrect addresses or other inconsistencies in their records.
Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and other Ohio Democrats argue that requiring individuals with inconsistent registrations to cast their ballots provisionally may lead to unfair post-Election Day scrutiny of their eligibility.