Straight-Ticket Voting a Confusing Issue in N.C.

Americans all over the country are wondering about the validity of a rumor that was forwarded to voters by e-mail in several states. It warned that if voters choose to cast a straight-ticket or straight-party ballot, they could inadvertently not vote for president of the United States.

Vice President Al Gore by a few hundred votes in Florida, the state that decided the election.

Since the candidates are only three points apart, with Obama in the lead, if voters mistakenly neglect to vote for president when voting straight ticket, the outcome of the election in North Carolina could affect the entire presidential race.

Yet, despite the confusion, there are benefits to voting a straight-ticket ballot. Particularly, it will speed up the voting process in states that are experiencing long lines during early voting. But Norden cautions that voters who choose to vote straight ticket will still need to vote in judicial races because those are nonpartisan.

“I think in general, people should review their ballots carefully. Often people are in a hurry once they finally get to the voting booth,” Norden says. “If you are voting on a touch-screen machine, there is a review screen at the end that you should look at to make sure all of your choices are there.”

The following states use straight-ticket voting:

New Mexico
North Carolina
Rhode Island
South Carolina
West Virginia

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