Voters cast provisional ballots for a variety of reasons, including failing to bring ID to the polls, not updating voter registration after moving or trying to vote at the wrong precinct.
A federal election law passed after the 2000 presidential election gives voters the option to cast a provisional ballot, if poll workers deny them a regular one. In Ohio and Pennsylvania, voters who don’t bring an ID to the polls can still have their votes counted if they produce an ID after Election Day. In Ohio, provisional voters have up to 10 days post-election to produce an ID.
If voters in Florida don’t bring an ID to the polls, they must sign a provisional ballot envelope. Canvassing boards then will try to match the signatures with those in voter registration records, a process that conjures up images of the 2000 presidential election in Florida.
‘‘It’s a possibility of a complete meltdown for the election,’’ said Daniel Smith, a political scientist at the University of Florida.
— Stephen Ohlemacher — Twitter http://twitter.com/stephenatap
After landing this afternoon at Pittsburgh International Airport, Mitt Romney walked from his plane to a fence on the edge of the runway. What he saw: a huge crowd gathered in a nearby parking garage to watch his arrival.
‘‘That’s when you know you’re going to win,’’ Romney said after waving to the roaring crowd.
Check out a photo here: http://pic.twitter.com/X4eDutqG
— Steve Peoples — Twitter http://twitter.com/sppeoples
NO MORE FRONT PORCH
Michael Oreskes, a veteran political journalist since the 1970s and now The Associated Press’ senior managing editor for U.S. news, will be checking in briefly with Election Watch throughout the day. Here is his first report:
Once, admittedly a long time ago, campaigning for president on any day — let alone Election Day — was considered undignified. Candidates were limited to campaigning from their front porches.
That was then. Now we are seeing scenes America has never experienced before as part of its greatest unifying event, Election Day.
There was the president of the United States, on hold, waiting for a supporter in Wisconsin to come back on the line so he could make a final plea for turnout. Obama was visiting a campaign office near his home in Chicago.
That scene was nothing compared to what was playing out in Ohio. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were hopscotching the ultimate battleground state in a last ditch appeal. And Ryan had a shadow: Vice President Joe Biden somehow flew in too, in a last-ditch effort to mess up the Republicans’ final message.
So much for campaigning from the front porch.
— Michael Oreskes
RYAN'S BACKUP PLAN
Paul Ryan has a backup plan.
In addition to being Republican Mitt Romney’s running mate, the Wisconsin congressman is seeking re-election to the U.S. House. Ryan has held his 1st District seat in southeast Wisconsin since 1998.
State law allowed Ryan to run for VP and Congress at the same time.
It’s been an uphill climb for his challengers for the House, Democratic businessman Rob Zerban and Libertarian Keith Deschler. Zerban tried for weeks — unsuccessfully — to get Ryan to debate him.
And what if Ryan wins twice Tuesday?
He would have to resign from Congress and a special election would be held to fill the House seat.
— Dinesh Ramde — Twitter http://twitter.com/dramde
WEDDED TO POLITICS
Talk about being wedded to politics.
Jonathan Carroll and Stephanie McClure of Hoboken, N.J., chose Election Day to form their own perfect union. Well, they figured they didn’t really have a choice.
Carroll says the original plan was to get married at a banquet hall in the shore community of Point Pleasant, but Superstorm Sandy devastated the area. Any thought of waiting beyond Tuesday to tie the knot was wiped away by an oncoming nor'easter that is expected to hit New Jersey on Wednesday and could result in more delays.
So Carroll and McClure said ‘‘I do’’ at Hoboken City Hall on Tuesday, while voters cast ballots across the way.
‘‘You know how they say a rough beginning equates to a smooth ending?’’ Carroll said. ‘‘If that’s the way it goes, it’s going to be cake and ice cream the rest of my life.’’
— David Porter — Twitter http://twitter.com/DavidPorter_AP
‘THESE THINGS MATTER’
Two views from a San Diego polling place:
On one hand:
San Diego poet Veronica Cunningham, 60, proudly held sheets of ‘‘I voted’ stickers to give out to the children at the schools where she works and said it felt good to vote as a gay Latina:
‘‘A lot of people I know here think their vote doesn’t matter because we’re not in Ohio. But I think everybody should either put out or shut up. Anyone who cares about who you are, your ethnicity, your beliefs, should vote because these things matter in an election. I expect a few things from my country and I'm hopeful for Obama. After eight years with Bush, you can’t expect one, lone African-American man to be responsible for this whole mess. I definitely think he should be given a second chance. People really have short memories.’’Continued...