Cumberland Times-News

Jan Alderton - Opinion

October 4, 2008

You can still register to vote

There is still time to register to vote in next month’s historic presidential election. In Maryland, voter registration is open until Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 9 p.m. Applications by mail must be postmarked by that date to be eligible.

Absentee ballots also are being accepted by election boards. The deadline to request a ballot is 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 28 or 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 28 if the application is faxed. After the deadline, a late application must be completed in person at the local board of elections office.

More information about registering, absentee ballots or other election-related matters is available at the Allegany County election board, (301) 777-5931 or the Garrett County election board, (301) 334-6985 or (301) 895-3822.....

Santa Claus, believe it or not, will be on the ballot for the West Virginia election. Claus is one of the state’s 14 write-in candidates for president.

Claus lives in Nevada and until 2005, when he changed his name, was known as Thomas O’Connor.

West Virginia’s rules allow nearly anyone to register as a candidate. “All they have to do is file a form at least 42 days before the election,” said Jason Williams, manager of the elections division in the secretary of state’s office. “Santa Claus filed his form and it was notarized, so he’s registered along with everyone else,” Williams said....

Here’s another example of why a single vote is important:

Angela Tuttle, 32, of Sneedville, Tenn., recently ran for the office of constable in Hancock County. Of the 674 registered voters, 131 cast ballots. But in the race for constable, no one voted — except Tuttle. She voted for herself and ended up winning the election....

There are so many scams these days, so it probably comes as little surprise that one of the frauds deals with voter registration. The scam recently came to light in a report from Scripps Howard News Service.

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Jan Alderton - Opinion
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