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Straight-ticket voting: What you need to know

Millions of Americans are heading to the polls to make one of the most important choices our country has faced in a generation. When you step into the voting booth, there are a few important things you should know about your ballot. In some states, Americans will have an option to vote “straight ticket”—or, vote for a party’s entire slate of candidates.

You are not required to vote straight ticket. You can vote for Barack Obama and other candidates on an individual basis. But in no way does voting straight ticket invalidate your vote for president.

If you choose to vote straight ticket, here’s what you need to know:

  1. In some states, like North Carolina, voting straight ticket does not mean you have voted for president. You must make two marks on the ballot. Mark once for the Democratic “straight-ticket” AND once for Barack Obama. You must check both boxes to vote for Barack Obama for president. Just choosing the “straight-ticket” option for Democrats will not count as a vote for President Obama.

  2. In some states, like Iowa, marking “Straight Democratic Ticket” does count as a vote for Barack Obama. You do not need to make more than one mark. And doing this does not invalidate your vote for President.

Voting is easy when you have all the information you need. Your vote takes only a few minutes, but it has the power to change the next four years. This Election Day, make sure you get to the polls and vote to move our country forward.

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