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Letter: Implement Clear Policies (Troy Record)

To the editor:

Rensselaer County election officials, to their credit, quickly acknowledged they had distributed hundreds of absentee ballots misidentifying presidential candidate Barack Obama and corrected the error accordingly.

Their swift action averted an Election Day disaster, but questions linger about whether it was an honest mistake.

Elections are complicated endeavors. They require careful professionals to guarantee that people can freely and fairly exercise their right to vote, and we must be confident that our election officials are up to the task.

Assuming the misprint was an accident, the incident still requires strict scrutiny. The County Legislature is right to call for a thorough investigation, and those responsible must be held accountable. The legislature should move a step further and implement clear policies and procedures to ensure this mistake is not repeated.

Melanie Trimble,
Director, Capital Region Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union

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