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Philadelphia Controller Says Poll Workers Need Better Pay, More Training

(City controller Alan Butkovitz.  Credit: Steve Tawa)

(City controller Alan Butkovitz. Credit: Steve Tawa)

Steve Tawa Steve Tawa
Steve Tawa joined KYW Newsradio in 1990, and splits his time between...
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By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An audit by the city controller’s office reveals why there was such a large number of provisional ballots in Philadelphia’s 2012 presidential election — more than double the number cast in 2008.

More than 27,000 people were forced to vote by provisional ballot in Philadelphia, and city controller Alan Butkovitz says the audit reveals that 40 percent happened because of poll worker mistakes or printing errors.

Of the remaining provisional ballots cast, voters either went to the wrong polling location or were not properly registered to vote.

Butkovitz says of the 10,000 votes cast in error, about half were from voters who were in the poll books at their correct polling place.

He says poll workers need more training.

“It’s important for the guardians of the election process to understand what they’re doing,” Butkovitz said today.  He added that the pay for training sessions and for working the fourteen-hour election day are too low.

Other provisional ballots, he said, were required due to errors in the printing of supplemental polling books.

“City commissioners should work with state officials to identify and correct the cause of errors in the printing of the poll books,” he said.

In both of those instances, Butkovitz  believes those votes should have been cast on the regular voting machines.