Straight Ticket Voting Warning
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A Warning About Straight Ticket Voting and Presidential Elections-Depends Where You Vote!

Summary of the eRumor:  
A warning not to vote straight Democrat or Republican tickets this election prior to voting for President.  Doing so could prevent your presidential vote from being counted if your choice belongs to another political party.
The Truth:  

Straight-ticket voting is an option on the ballots of some states in which a voter can simply choose all of the candidates of a particular party at once instead of having to vote for each of them individually.

If you want to vote for all of the Republicans on the ballot, for example, all you have to do is choose the straight ticket option for "Republican" and with one punch of the ballot or one press of the button on electronic machines, you're done.

The reason for this warning, however, is to alert voters that if they choose the straight ticket option, they can't vote for any other candidates individually. If, for example, you chose the Republican straight vote option for the entire list of Republican candidates---but you also wanted to vote for Barack Obama for president, your marking of the ballot for Barack Obama would be invalidated because you had already chosen the Republican straight vote option.

So if you want to vote across party lines for various candidates, mark the ballot for each of those candidates individually.

Straight ticket voting is only available in 16 states: Alabama, Oklahoma, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Rhode Island, Kentucky, South Carolina, Michigan, Texas, New Jersey, Utah, New Mexico, West Virginia, North Carolina and Wisconsin. New Jersey only has straight-ticket voting in primary elections. North Carolina straight-ticket voting is not available for presidential electors. Rhode Island only has straight-ticket voting in general elections.

A spokesperson from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) website told that in states where voting polls are set up for straight ticket voting, the voter may select to vote individually or for all candidates affiliated with a particular party. Once the option is selected the other option will be locked out.

Voters who live in these states choosing to vote straight tickets should consult their ballot instructions:

Click for Alabama Voter Information

Click for Indiana Voter Information

Click for Iowa Voter Information

Click for Kentucky Voter Information

Click for Michigan Voter Information

Click for New Jersey Voter Information

Click for New Mexico Voter Information

Click for North Carolina Voter Information

Click for Oklahoma Voter Information

Click for Pennsylvania Voter Information

Click for Rhode Island Voter Information

Click for South Carolina Voter Information

Click for Texas Voter Information

Click for Utah Voter Information

Click for West Virginia Voter Information

Click for Wisconsin Voter Information


updated 10/29/08

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:
Republican or Democrat, you will appreciate this email.

I have been informed by an Obama supporter, that if one votes straight Dem. or Rep. ticket at the polls, before you have voted for the President, you're vote for President will not be counted. If you go to, you will see that this is true and it tells you that it's a good idea to vote for each candidate individually, in any case.

I'm happy to get this info and want to pass it along, since it's already circulating among Obama supporters.
We need all our Republican votes to count, so I owe a debt of gratitude to the Democrat who"mistakingly" sent the email my way. Thanks!
Even if you know this, others may not, so please pass it on! I think everyone's vote should count, but once, only! (Ha!)


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