Congressman Rush Holt – a leader on voting integrity and voting rights – today introduced legislation that would create a national standard for how provisional ballots should be counted (press release):
Holt’s bill would require ballots cast in a state to be counted in statewide races if the voter is registered anywhere in the state, and ballots cast in the correct Congressional district to be counted if the voter is registered anywhere in the Congressional district, regardless of whether or not the ballots were cast in the correct precinct.
“The Help America Vote Act sought to enfranchise voters by mandating that voters that are told they are not on the registration rolls be given provisional ballots,” Holt said. “But it didn’t establish standards for how and when those ballots would be counted. In fact in many instances those ballots simply were not counted, leaving some to refer to them as ‘placebo ballots.’ I have introduced legislation today that addresses the need for a national standard.”