Secretary of State Todd Rokita, who oversees Indiana elections, got a new perspective on vote challenges this past week.
Rokita, of course, is an outspoken defender of one of the strictest photo ID laws in the nation. In the weeks leading up to the election, he also recommended filing charges related to bad voter registrations delivered by ACORN, the community activist group.
Then, a funny thing happened to Rokita on the way to voting:
His own absentee ballot was challenged by precinct poll workers.
According to Marion County election officials, his messily inscribed signature upon checking in to vote -- he signed it "Todd Rokita" -- did not match his neat poll book signature of "Theodore Rokita."
So what did poll workers do?
Well, they placed his ballot in a pile of provisional ballots that do not get counted until the Election Board can review the challenges one at a time after Election Day. (The board decided Friday that Rokita's ballot will indeed count in the official final tally.)
Ed Treacy, the Marion County Democratic chairman, said he thought it was "hysterical" that Rokita's vote was challenged.
"This is a person who does everything he can to repress every vote he can," Treacy said. "Now maybe he'll be able to really appreciate the sanctity of the vote."
Jim Gavin, Rokita's spokesman, said Treacy's comment was "an unfortunate attack."
"It's uncalled-for so close to a historic, successful election that we expect to shatter previous turnout records," Gavin said.
that last quote is a bit awkward, and i'm unsure whether it's just sloppy editing or whether the words just stumbled out of gavin's mouth that clumsily. of course, the actual wording of the quote is unnecessary; all you really need to know is that treacy got in a zinger and gavin whined about it.
anyway, the lesson here is to always make sure your signature matches! pretty basic, really, but rokita probably never thought his provisional ballot policies would be enforced against someone like him. ¶