On Election Day 2012, Voters Take Charge: Count all the Votes

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National League President Elisabeth MacNamara issued the below statement congratulating voters for turning out, standing in long lines and understanding how much is at stake in election 2012. In what might be a close election, MacNamara urged voters to be patient and called on elections officials to count all the votes.

I am taking control this election

I am taking control this election

If it takes time to count all the eligible ballots, this doesn’t signify a failure of the elections process. It is democracy in action. This is our democracy, the best in the world. We want an accurate count, not a fast count.

“Today is Election Day and it is the day that the pollsters pack their bags and the voters cast their ballots. Voters, especially those in New Jersey and New York, deserve to be applauded for their deep commitment to voting and for their patience and perseverance. Voters everywhere have shown real dedication by voting early, standing in long lines when necessary, and making sure their voices were heard. Voters clearly understood just how much is at stake.

“It looks like the 2012 elections will be close. This means that everyone should be patient while elections officials count all the votes. State laws vary on the timing and process for counting ballots including how to handle absentee, mail-in, emergency, affidavit and provisional ballots. It is of the utmost importance to ensure that the votes of all eligible voters are counted.

“If it takes time to count all the eligible ballots, this doesn’t signify a failure of the elections process. It is democracy in action. This is our democracy, the best in the world. We want an accurate count, not a fast count.

“The many organizations that encouraged voter participation and helped people navigate the hurdles throughout the election process also deserve praise. Voters turned out, to what level we will have to wait and see, but voters clearly want a say in the future of their communities.

“In keeping with the organization’s 92-year-old tradition, League volunteers registered tens of thousands of new voters this year and advocated tirelessly for fair, free and accessible elections for all voters. And voters turned to the League’s election site VOTE411.org for reliable, nonpartisan information on polling locations, the candidates and more. VOTE411.org served more than two million voters throughout the 2012 election cycle.

“While we are aware that there have been problems at the polls today, it remains to be seen how widespread they will turn out to be. Today, as with early voting, unplanned turnout around the country is causing long lines and is testing the capacity of the election system, which may slow the reporting of results in certain places. It is the counting of the votes that is now the most important thing."

Contact Kelly Ceballos at kceballos[at]lwv[dot]org to find out more or to schedule an interview.

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The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. VOTE411.org is the place to go for the election information you need.

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Kelly Ceballos
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