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Dispelling electronic voting myths   (TX)

Alexis Patterson    KEYETV   21 October 2008

Itís important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to casting your ballot electronically.

Some constituents have voiced concerns about not being able to vote in each race, or voting ions getting erased when you vote electronically. The experts are sorting out the rumors.

Voters were misinformed Monday at an early voting location at Randalls on West Ben White Blvd. As voters waited, the Travis County Elections Division said a "poll cat" gave voters inaccurate instructions.

"He said... 'Let me tell you, make sure you vote straight ticket, then you also vote for Obama to make sure the vote counts,'" said Erica Prosser, who witnessed the incident at Randalls.

In reality, pressing the button for a candidate whose name is already highlighted des that candidate. But there's a simple fix.

"If I hit Obama and de it, I can just re it," explained Rick Barron, Williamson County's elections administrator.

Barron said he wants to dispel another myth, adding that you can vote straight party, then go back and opt for another party's candidate in any race.

For example, you can vote straight Republican but choose a Democrat in an individual race, and that doesn't invalidate your other ions.

You can also the straight party option and still vote on bonds or propositions. Some worried a straight party vote would take them straight to the end of the process.

"It doesn't," said Barron. "You have to go through all the pages to get to the review screen."

Barron added that you have to get to the review screen to vote.

"So many people are involved," said Prosser. "A lot of people are going out to vote who have never voted."

That's why Prosser said she believes this year, it's especially important to dispel myths.

As for the man who gave misleading information at Randalls, the Travis County Clerk said an election worker confronted him, and the man fled.

The clerk said if voters witness any inappropriate behavior like that, to report it to poll workers.

Different counties may use different electronic voting software, but one elections administrator who spoke to CBS 42 said all the programs should allow you to review your ions. He advised looking over your ballot carefully and said to ask for help before hitting the vote button.

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