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Questions mounting about ballot stubs   (OH)

Michael Scott and Donna J. Miller    The Cleveland Plain Dealer   March 04, 2008

A growing number of Cuyahoga County voters this morning are saying they are having problems with pollworkers telling them to remove a tab on their ballot that specifically says "Do not remove."

Cuyahoga Elections Board Director Jane Platten is expected to address media at 11:30 to answer questions about the matter, but an elections official said earlier this morning "tab on, tab off, it doesn't matter. Every vote will count."

The elections official said unofficially that the message on the ballot was only to tell voters not to remove the tab which has the same number as the ballot itself until they place their paper ballot in a sealed box. He said every polling site was called this morning and poll workers were instructed to count every vote, regardless of whether the tab was removed.

Dozens of voters commenting on Cleveland.com blogs have also debated whether the tab should be removed.

Some voters also have said that as they were waiting in line to place their ballots in a secure box, they have sometimes folded them in half to keep their vote secret, but pollworkers told them not to so their ballot is uncreased when it is counted.

Marianne Karwowski Hoppel, of Broadview Heights, said "a secret ballot was unavailable to me for my votes in this primary election. The ballot did not have an envelope or cover to keep my votes secret. Anyone could have seen my choices while I walked from the voting booth to the voting box."

Check back at this site soon for s from the Board of Elections news conference.

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