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Issue 143 - November 2012 (2nd Edition) - Page 16

Misinformation Regarding Straight Ticket Voting On 06 November 2012 US General Election

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Outline
A currently circulating post claims that voting a Democratic straight party ticket excludes a vote for incumbent President Obama.  The only state where that is true is North Carolina, and applies to straight ticket voting in general – not just Democrats.  It has no relevance in any other state.    



Brief Analysis
The claim made in the post is that this is a ‘trick’ to prevent Obama from winning a second term, and exhorts readers to repost to everyone they know.  The fact is that North Carolina election code stipulates that the office of President cannot be tied to lower offices in a straight ticket vote, and applies to Republicans and Democrats.  North Carolina is the only state with such a stipulation.  In fact, North Carolina is in a minority of states that even allow a straight ticket vote in the first place.  Unless every single person in your friends list is a registered voter in the state of North Carolina, sharing this is misleading and pointless.

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Last updated: November 1, 2012
First published: November 1, 2012
Article written by David M. White
About Hoax-Slayer


Example

PLEASE PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO THIS! In the event thay you are planning to vote Democrat on Nov. 6, when u go into the voting booths, DO NOT SELECT THE BUTTON "All Democrats" first, because Barack Obama will be excluded from the vote. However, if we choose "Barack Obama" first, then "All Democrats", he will earn our votes. People are not being told this information, because they are trying to use every trick in the book.

TELL EVERYBODY YOU KNOW THIS!!!!! PLEASE REPOST THIS!!!!!!




Detailed Analysis
(NOTE:  The creator of Hoax-Slayer is an Australian and is not directly impacted by the mudslinging of US politics.  While this page strives to maintain political impartiality, it also believes that a hoax is a hoax regardless of its party stripes.  The following is in no way intended to voice support for any particular candidate.  In the interest of full disclosure, the US based author of this article is in fact a registered Republican… he just prefers his political arguments to actually have substance behind them.)

Simplest way to address this is to break the message down sentence by sentence.
"…when u go into the voting booths" – not all states use a voting booth as such.  Many use regular tables with temporary partitions.

"…DO NOT SELECT THE BUTTON" – Very few methods of voting in the US involve pushing a button of any sort.  Aside from the infamous punch card ballots which are blessedly nearly extinct, there are a number of different balloting methods used around the US.  Many locations now use optical scanners and some are moving towards touch screens.

"…"All Democrats" – As noted above, only the state of North Carolina separates the office of President (and Vice-President) from other lower offices.  That is not peculiar to Democrats.  It applies equally to those voting a straight Republican ticket.
if we choose "Barack Obama" first, then "All Democrats", he will earn our votes” – Unless you live in one of the 36 states that doesn't allow straight ticket voting in the first place, in which case the option to vote 'all Democrat' isn't available to you at all, rendering that sentence meaningless.

"People are not being told this information"– This is, in fact, clearly indicated on the ballot itself.  Here is a sample ballot from one NC county.  And newspapers in NC have run editorials reminding voters as well.

"they are trying to use every trick in the book"– There is no trick here because a) it applies to both parties and b) the NC code separating the vote for the office of President from other offices was enacted in 1967.  Because ballot reading did not provide for accurate counting of ‘under-votes’ (offices on a ballot that were not voted on by individual voters) for another 40 years (or at least nobody really paid much attention to it) there was not a comprehensive study of those under-votes until after the 2004 elections, which compiled statistics for the 2000 and 2004 elections.  (The total number of under-votes was not remotely close enough to challenge the outcomes of those elections).

"TELL EVERYBODY YOU KNOW THIS!!!!! PLEASE REPOST THIS!!!!!!"– Aside from a natural animosity towards anything in all caps or with multiple exclamation points, and an unmitigated disgust for anything that combines the two – unless you live in NC and have limited your friends list to only other NC residents/voters, sharing this with others is misleading, pointless and irrational.

(Also… Be aware that even some local offices of national organizations have fallen for this and spread the misinformation.  They then compounded that with their retractions/update indicating that the initial misleading instructions could actually result, with certain types of balloting equipment, in exactly the circumstance they were trying to avoid – negating the individual’s vote for President.  That is also untrue.

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References

http://www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/straight-ticket-voting.aspx
http://www.pittcountync.gov/depts/elections/documents/sample-ballot.pdf
http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/10/18/2420894/in-nc-voting-a-straight-ticket.html
http://www.ncvoter.net/straightticket.html
http://twitpic.com/b72dwc
http://www.free-times.com/index.php?cat=1992209084141467&act=post&pid=11862410120742525


Last updated: November 1, 2012
First published: November 1, 2012
Article written by David M. White
About Hoax-Slayer


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Issue 143 Start Menu

Pages in this issue:
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  2. Hoax - Facebook Shutting Down on January 15, 2013
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  4. US States Petition For Secession
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  10. Hoax - Oliver North Warned Congress About Osama Bin Laden in 1987
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  12. USPS Malware Emails
  13. Rumors Regarding FEMA and Hurricane Sandy
  14. Australia Day Name Change Hoax Targets Prime Minister Gillard
  15. Webmail Account Phishing Scam
  16. Misinformation Regarding Straight Ticket Voting On 06 November 2012 US General Election
  17. December 2012 - 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays and 5 Mondays
  18. Lil Wayne is NOT Dead
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