Voters: Help Protect Electoral Integrity

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As part of our mission to make sure that there is no electoral fraud in New York State, we are inviting our readers to help evaluate the copy of an actual ballot above this editorial.
As readers now know, not all elections are free and fair; not even here in the United States.

[Election 2008]

As part of our mission to make sure that there is no electoral fraud in New York State, we are inviting our readers to help evaluate the copy of an actual ballot above this editorial.

As readers now know, not all elections are free and fair; not even here in the United States. Florida was of course the most spectacular example when in 2002 we first started hearing the word "chads" and "hanging chads." That was the first time that many American voters

learned for the first time that the ballots for the presidential election were not uniform across the country.

But the problem isn't confined to Florida. In North Carolina for example, voters can choose to vote for a straight party ticket line by marking one block and selecting all the candidates of that ticket. However, in order to vote for

the presidential candidate of their choice, voters have to check another box to vote for president. This can of course be confusing; some candidates could believe that they had already voted for president when they chose the straight party line.

There are already rumblings that there may be problems on election day in strongly-contested battleground states such as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

In Ohio, there have been several court challenges to try and strike some voters off the roll; in Florida, with record turnout expected, judging by the several thousands that have turned out for early voting.

Could the kind of shenanigans we saw in Florida occur in New York state? The only way we can ensure its doesn't happen here is by studying the ballot before Election Day, when it's too late.

If you notice that there's anything wrong with the ballot above --whether you are a lay person or an expert familiar with ballots-- we'd like you to do things.

First call the New York State Board of Elections and point out any "errors" or abnormalities in the ballot. Are the names of the candidates, for example, in similar size fonts? Are the names of each candidate clear and visible?

Our mission is to ensure that each candidate has a fair shot in the elections and that voters pull the lever for the candidate of their choice.

If you spot anything wrong with the ballots call the Electoral Board, the bipartisan body created in 1974 to administer the election, at (518) 474-8100 and voice your complaint to


Co-Commissioners James A. Walsh and Douglas A. Kellner. If you can't reach either try the co-executive directors Todd D. Valentine and Stanley A. Zaline, at the same phone number. The Board's general phone number is

(518) 473-5086.





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