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NC Straight-Ticket Vote Omits Presidential Race

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Straight-ticket omits presidential race
Opinion - Charlotte Observer

By James T. Hamilton
Special to The Observer
Posted: Tuesday, Oct. 07, 2008

For full story see…
Straight-ticket omits presidential race

Hundreds of thousands of new voters have been added to North Carolina's voter registration rolls this year. The candidates, parties and interest groups will spend millions to get N.C. voters to the polls. Once these voters are in the voting booth, however, thousands will be disenfranchised by the design of the ballot.

Imagine, for example, you are a first time voter with a desire to vote straight party – to vote for all the candidates of a particular party. If you look at the official ballot that Mecklenburg County and all other counties are set to use on Nov. 4, you'll find the following sentence: “A Straight Party vote is a vote for all candidates of that party in partisan offices. Individual partisan office selections are not necessary if you select a Straight Party below.”

If you followed those directions, filled in the Democratic or Republican oval in the Straight Party Voting section and then left, you might think you'd just voted for president.

But you would be wrong.

Obscure change to the law

On North Carolina's ballot, the presidential contest is not included in the list of “Partisan Offices.” In order to cast a vote for president and a straight party vote, you need to make two marks – one in the presidential contest and the other in the straight party section. (And a straight-ticket vote does not cast a vote in judicial races, because those are nonpartisan.)

For full story see…
Straight-ticket omits presidential race

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