Ballot Bafflement

Patrick Kerkstra reports:

The sample ballots circulated by ward leaders in all Philadelphia elections seem to be confusing some voters this time around. These aren't official ballots in any way, just a list of the candidates who've been endorsed by your local Democratic ward leader. In some cases, ward leaders are urging local residents to vote for Obama for president but to choose Clinton representatives to be delegates to the Democratic National Convention. This is just so much insider maneuvering: a ward boss might prefer Obama, but still wants to see a political ally who backs Clinton get the chance to attend the convention. The only vote that counts in the presidential contest is the one at the top of the ballot. Voting for Clinton delegates or Obama delegates won't impact who wins the state.

Muddling the picture still further is the fact that some of these sample ballots appear to be getting distributed in the wrong wards. In other words, you could be getting the recommendations of a ward leader from another part of town.

There's one sure way to cut through the confusion: exercise your own judgment and leave the sample ballot at home.

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