Decision Voids Absentee Ballot Apps in Ohio:

It is interesting to juxtapose Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's decision to allow some absentee voters to register and vote on the same day with another recent decision that has the effect of invalidating over 1,000 absentee ballot applications collected by the McCain campaign.

More than 1,000 absentee ballot applications in Greater Cincinnati have been ruled invalid because Republican Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign printed a version of the form with an extra, unneeded box on it.

The forms were sent to more than 1 million registered voters statewide, according to a McCain spokesman in Ohio.

The McCain forms included a box voters can mark to declare themselves qualified to vote. But Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner says that if the box isn't checked, circled or initialed, the application is no good. Those voters are essentially admitting they're not eligible, she said.

That ruling has drawn howls from Republicans, who say it's an attempt to disenfranchise them. Election officials say it could wreak havoc in the weeks leading up to the Nov. 4 election.

"I have not seen a ruling that indirectly impacts voters to the enormity of this since I've been here," Hamilton County Board of Elections Deputy Director John Williams said of his nearly five-year tenure at the board.

This decision could well end up in court, in part because similar absentee ballot applications collected before a special election in 2007 were accepted.