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League Urges Counting of All Eligible Votes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
www.lwv.org

League Urges Counting of All Eligible Votes

Washington, D.C. – National League President Mary G. Wilson today urged the media, analysts and voters to remember that although some elections may be too close to call, we need to allow election officials do their jobs and let the systems keep working. With early media reports suggesting that nationwide voters turned out in strong numbers, Wilson also congratulated voters on exercising their most essential right.

“With party control of the House and the Senate on the line, there is tremendous pressure to know who won very quickly,” said Wilson. “But some elections are likely to be close, and the accurate counting of provisional ballots, absentee ballots, and overseas ballots – as well as possible recounts or other audits – are vitally important to the integrity of our system.”

“Despite what partisans or the media may suggest, we shouldn’t assume that slow results are signs, by themselves, of a broken electoral system,” Wilson stated. “We need to count all the eligible votes.”

“Every state must offer provisional ballots to voters who have problems at the polling place, such as not having their names on the list. Elections officials must also work to verify and count absentee ballots, and in some states, audits or recounts may be called for.”

“Elections in America are in transition,” Wilson stated. “Compared with 2000, this year nearly two-thirds of voters used new voting machines, every polling place administered new ID requirements and virtually every voter registration record was managed in new ways,”she said. “Change is never easy. Implementing reform is difficult in large, complex and decentralized systems like ours, and we recognize that we will continue to face challenges,” observed Wilson. “In the meantime, it is important that elections officials carry out all of their responsibilities and count all the valid ballots that have been cast,” she said.

“It may take some time to count all the ballots and perform standard audits of the elections process in some jurisdictions. This doesn’t signify a failure of the election process. It is democracy in action,” concluded Wilson.

Reporters may contact Maggie Duncan (mduncan@lwv.org or 202-263-1332) to set up media interviews with League President Mary G. Wilson.

ENDS

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