Election 2002


Avoiding voting errors

Here's how to vote, step by step

1. Take a picture ID with your signature to the polling place. Check your notice of voter registration and address confirmation card for your correct polling place location.

2. Be sure to look at both sides of your ballot before voting. Five political parties will be on the front and two on the back (each party has a different color) along with the nonpartisan ballot (white section).

3. Go into the voting booth and vote in ONLY one of the color-coded sections. If you vote for one office in one section and another office in another party section, your vote could be invalid. You must vote for candidates within a certain colored area. Be sure to vote in one color-coded section (party) and the white section for special nonpartisan races, such as the Board of Education and City Council.

4. Be sure to fill in the oval next to your candidate's name completely. The machine may not count your vote if this is marked incorrectly. Your vote may also not count if you vote for more candidates than allowed in a contest.

5. When done voting, place the ballot into the ballot secrecy folder to protect the privacy of your vote.

6. An election official will tear off the ballot stub. Keep the stub as proof of your vote.

7. Go to the ballot station, where an official will assist you in the use of the ballot box machine. You remove your ballot from the secrecy folder and carefully slide the ballot into the machine.

8. If the voter mistakenly votes more times than he or she is allowed in a single contest or crosses over to vote in different party sections, the machine will stop, signal the voter with a beep and tell the voter an "overvoted condition" exists somewhere on the ballot. The voter should follow the instructions to get his or her ballot back. The voter should see a precinct official to go through a "spoiled ballot" procedure to correct the error.

9. If the voter does not use a proper marking instrument or does not properly mark the ballot (by completely darkening the oval next to his/her choice) or leaves the ballot blank, the machine will stop, signal the voter with a beep and indicate that a "marginal mark" exists. The voter should see a precinct official to correct his condition.

E-mail to City Desk


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