Election watchdogs: Confusing US ballot could undercut votes

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October 28, 2008 22:41

 
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Election watchdogs fear that a long-standing feature of ballots in the southern battleground state of North Carolina could confuse voters and cause them to not cast a vote for president. By checking a single box, North Carolina voters can cast a straight-party ticket - Democrat, Republican or Libertarian - but state law requires voters to separately mark their choice for president. On the ballot, the straight-party vote option appears below the presidential selection, and counties have included explanations and warnings that voters must mark the White House race separately. Nevertheless, election watchdogs fear hurried voters might ignore the explanations, see the straight-ticket option first and assume it includes a vote for president. "The policy itself needs to change, but at this point we need to be reminding voters to be prepared and follow directions," said Bob Hall, director of the advocacy group Democracy North Carolina.

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