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OK: Confusion Among Eagles and Roosters

By David Brown
Several people complained of allegedly partisan advice by a poll worker in Pottawatomie County this morning, and the head of the local election board asked him to change the way he was explaining how people could vote a straight party ticket.

On the Oklahoma ballots, an eagle denotes Republican candidates and a rooster Democratic ones. To vote a party-line ticket, a person has to click one of the avian icons in four different places. Several witnesses said a poll worker in the small town of Pink told several voters to "Look under the eagle" -- or something close to that -- when asked how they could vote a party line. This was interpreted as an instruction to vote Republican.

"He was telling them to look under the eagle to find the straight-party areas," said Diana Knight, secretary of the county election board. "He wasn't telling them to vote for the Republicans. He probably shouldn't have said it that way."

Complaints were registered with the state election board and also with the Oklahoma Indian Bar Association, which posted an item about it on its Web site. Pottawatomie County is 11 percent American Indian. Knight said she spoke with the poll worker four times during the day to be certain his advice was clearer.

By Washington Post editors  |  November 4, 2008; 6:27 PM ET
Categories:  50 States , B_Blog  
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