Delaware County Election Board Secretary Dixie Smith today advised voters to go to the polls as early as possible next Tuesday.

 “The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. on November 4, 2008, for the General Election,” Smith said.  “Any registered voter who is in line to vote at 7 p.m. will be able to vote.”

She said voters can expect lines at most polling places, but lines are likely to be shortest at mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

Smith encouraged voters to take their Voter Identification Cards to the polls with them.  “Chances are that you won’t need your Voter Identification Card, but if there is a problem, having your card may help election officials resolve it,” Smith said.

She suggested that voters call the County Election Board office before Election Day if they have any questions about their eligibility on the location of polling places.

Smith said that a valid marking—a filled-in arrow—is shown on posters at the polling place and inside the voting booths.  An illustration of a valid marking also is printed at the top of the ballot card.  “If you have questions about how to mark your ballot to insure that it is counted correctly, ask the Precinct Officials,” Smith said.

 “If you make a mistake marking your ballot, don’t try to correct it.  Take the spoiled ballot back to the Precinct Officials.  They will destroy it and give you a new one.”

After marking the ballot, the voter should go to the voting device and insert the ballot into the voting device.

The voting device can read the ballot regardless of the direction it is inserted—face up or down, top first or bottom first.  If the voting device is unable to detect any valid marking on the ballot, or if the voting device detects too many valid markings for a single office or question, it immediately returns the ballot to the voter.  It also prints a message explaining the problem.  The Precinct Officials will issue a new ballot to the voter, if necessary, if either of these problems occur.

Smith said that election law violations will be reported to the proper law enforcement authorities.  “We’re going to be watching for electioneering by candidates,” she said.  “It’s unlawful to electioneer within 300 feet of a ballot box.”

Smith said other election law violations include disclosing how one voted while within the election enclosure, removing a ballot from the polling place, taking a ballot into the polling place and taking intoxicating liquors within half a mile of a polling place.  It also is unlawful for anyone other than voters waiting to vote and election officials to be within 50 feet of a ballot bo