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Registrar Won't Get His Vote for Keeping Job

October 05, 2003

Re "O.C. Interim Registrar Readies Special Tactics for Recall Election," Sept. 15:

With the tumult caused by balloting procedures in the 2002 presidential election, I would think that the Orange County registrar of voters would have taken extraordinary precautious in administering the Statewide Special Election ballots, especially if he wants his job to be made permanent.

Unfortunately, Steve Rodermund decided to leave voters confused.

The first instruction for returning completed absentee ballots -- underlined and in boldfaced type to add emphasis -- is erroneous. "Remove the stub from the ballot," it says.

My wife and I searched our ballots front and back. We found no stub. Determined not to return an invalid ballot, I contacted the Orange County registrar's office to inquire and was told to ignore that instruction.

"We did not have time to print the correct instructions," I was told.

You had time to print the ballots, I said.

"There is no stub," the registrar's employee explained.

This expectation that people should not expect government to do what it is charged with doing is why we are having a recall election.

I am sure Rodermund has a litany of reasons why he gave voters inaccurate instructions. But the real reason, I suspect, is that he knows it's the best his agency can do and as long as he has a plausible excuse, he won't be held accountable. But neither should he be promoted.

Dave Stefanides

Los Alamitos

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