Absentee ballots leave off GOP presidential ticket

Friday, October 22, 2004

Service personnel from some Illinois counties were happy to receive special absentee blank ballots, but surprised to discover that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney were not on them.

According to a report from the Southern Illinoisan newspaper in Carbondale, Ill., county clerk offices are required to have enough ballots printed and available for mailing to persons in the military or their spouse by Sept. 3. In Randolph County the punch-card absentee ballots were not printed by that date, so the county clerk there sent out special blank ballots, but Bush/Cheney were left off.

The confusion apparently is a result of the Republican National Convention being held so late this year which conflicted with the dates county clerks office were supposed to have their ballots certified. Bush/Cheney were not listed on the blank ballots because they had not officially been nominated by the time the ballots went to print.

After the official, proofread, punch card absentee ballots came in they were sent out to all absentee voters, including those who had received the defective ones.

According to the report, some overseas voters were wary of the special ballots and did not fill them out, but sent in the punch-card ballots that did have the Republican presidential candidates names on them.

Other Illinois counties, such as Jackson county, did not send out special absentee ballots because the county clerk's personnel would have to repunch them once they're received, and there were concerns about security.

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