By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Days after the City Controller’s audit on the spike in the number of provisional ballots cast at Philadelphia polls in the 2012 election, a fact-finding team appointed by Mayor Nutter has released its own version of what went wrong.
City Managing Director Rich Negrin says Philadelphia voters cast more provisional ballots last November than in the last two presidential elections combined.
“The percentage of Philadelphia voters who voted by provisional ballot was eight times the state average,” Negrin said.
All told there were nearly 27,000 provisional ballots cast, yet Negrin says more than 12,000 names were omitted from “poll books” or “supplemental sheets” used as voter roll sources, even though they were properly registered and showed up at the correct polling place.
“There’s a high number of poll worker error,” he says that creates a negative voting experience. “People who have difficulty voting, especially if they’ve done everything right, are discouraged from voting again.”
Negrin also says there was a “significant backlog” of voter registration applications piled up at the City Commissioners, and elections officials “poorly communicated” polling place changes — nearly 100 last year and more than 350 since the 2011 primary. As a result, more than 6,800 people showed up at the wrong polling place.