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As Election Day Nears, Voting Questions Abound

POSTED: 05:16 PM ET, 10/31/2008 by Derek Kravitz

How long will lines at my polling place be?

Can I wear a campaign button when I vote?

Will touch-screen voting machines work?

These were among the questions our readers posed this afternoon in an online discussion on Election Day issues. Many of the answers to those questions, however, won't be known until Tuesday, the experts warned.

Dan Seligson, editor for the Pew Center for the State's Electionline.org, offered one piece of advice.

"The mid-afternoon tends to be slow -- in most years. But that might not be the case if we have the expected historic turnout on Tuesday. Be patient, and as more than one election official has suggested, bring a book," Seligson said. (Seligson also said voters might be required to cover up campaign buttons, but won't be turned away; other questions can be answered by Election Protection's Elections 101 guide at the nonprofit, nonpartisan group's web site.)

Early voting has been marked by high turnouts, leading to long lines in Florida and some other states. The Pew Center experts warned that other trouble spots, including Colorado and Ohio, could crop up on Election Day.

In Virginia, fliers printed with the wrong voting date and fake state seals were passed out in predominantly black neighborhoods throughout the Hampton Roads, Newport News and Virginia Beach areas, sparking a state police investigation and bringing calls for action by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.).

Meanwhile, Georgia is locked in a fight over the eligibility of some voters whose citizenship is in question. Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel (R) announced that her office is sending letters to 4,770 registered voters, informing them that they have to cast "challenge" ballots that won't be immediately tabulated on Election Day. If they can prove their citizenship, Handel told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, they would be allowed to vote.

Here's a full transcript of today's Electionline.org discussion on voting issues. And don't forget to visit washingtonpost.com's Vote Monitor on Tuesday to tell us how your vote went.

By Derek Kravitz |  October 31, 2008; 5:16 PM ET Election 2008 , Vote Monitor
Previous: Finance Crisis Hits Credit Card Business | Next: Picks of the Week: Uncle Ted's Road, Gifted Programs and Lending Protections

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