More Counties Affected By Secretary of State Voting Order
Just in from Secretary of State, we've got an update from my earlier post about counties facing Election Day voting changes.
Massive rain and flooding has affected portions of Southeast/central Ohio leading to closed and/or relocated precincts. In response the Secretary of State has been busy this morning and afternoon seeking court approval of Declaratory Orders to allow voters affected by flooding to vote provisional at their local board of elections.
Earlier today, Jefferson county residents affected by flodding were granted approval to vote provisionally at the BoE. Now, joining Jefferson residents, folks in Perry and Adams counties have been granted approval (if their precinct is affected by flooding) to vote provisionally at the county Board of Elections. You can check out the Perry County order here, or the Adams County order here.
Additionally, the Secretary of State is trying to implement a similar order in Harrison, Hocking and Athens county. In these counties the SoS is still awaiting County Prosecutor approval (a statutory requirement for the order). Also, the SoS is considering drafting an order in Guernsey, Fairfield and Pike Counties.
What's this all mean? Well, aside from the order in Athens County, I think these voting irregularities most likely aid Obama (albeit the impact is questionable). As previously forecasted repeatedly, I think southeast Ohio (Strickland country) will be a Clinton stronghold. A decreased turnout in these regions due to flooding probably keeps Clinton voters from the polls. Also, the Secretary of State's order to allow provisional votes at the County Board of Elections does little in rural regions where roads across the county may be treacherous county-wide.
Now Athens county is a different story. It's the home of Ohio University and 20,000 students that will massively favor Barack Obama. If polls are shut down there, students may be confused and fail to make it to the BoE (located in the same area as the university).