This is the first election in which Missourians will be allowed to legally cast votes even though they should not cast them. By the end of the day, several thousand provisional votes might have been cast in Missouri. They have been created as a way to avoid the major snafus that happened in St. Louis two years ago, when a surge of voters whose registration could not be confirmed showed up at polling places. It works this way: if a person shows up at a precinct and his or her registration cannot be verified on site, and if the precinct judge cannot confirm the registration with a call to the local election authority, the person will be given a provisional ballot. If registration can be confirmed later, the votes will be counted. If the voter isn’t registered, it’s pitched. Secretary of State Matt Blunt says it will put a burden on those local election oficials. Registered voters who go to the wrong precinct today will not be given provisional ballots. They’ll be told to go to the right place even if it’s just before closing time. Blunt admits the process might slow down a final tally but he thinks it’s better to be delayed than to allow fraudulent voting.
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