FOR THE DISTRICT'S beleaguered elections board, the moment of truth is now only 12 days away. The most immediate election question is not how the decisions will come out, but how the voters will find themselves officially accounted for when they show up to vote. We dare not begin to predict -- but at least the board does seem to have accepted some suggestions we offered up after the Great Voter Roll Collapse of Sept. 14. The next critical step -- before Election Day -- is up to each voter: anyone with the slightest anxiety about his or her registration should act now to avoid grief later.
Here's the situation so far: we suggested that Phase I of a voter-roll cleanup include verifying and adding to the registration lists the names of those who had been dropped but who voted challenged ballots last month. To some uncertain extent, that has happened; some of the worst mistakes are said to have been corrected. In any event, Phase II was to publish the revised list in public buildings. One way or another, this has now been done. The rolls are posted in the city's 23 libraries, for all to decipher. 2 If--and it's the biggest if--you are still not on the list and should be, there are cards available in the libraries that can be filled out for a supplemental registration list that is supposed to be ready in time for use on Election Day. David Splitt, new acting executive director of the board, has gone one useful step further: he has told 175 poll workers during training sessions that anyone who shows up at a polling place on Election Day with reasonable proof of residence in the ward should be allowed to vote.
Mr. Splitt says anyone may vote if the precinct captain, a city employee, can vouch for the fact that the person lives in that precinct and is a registered voter. A driver's license, a friend, a spouse or another witness who is clearly registered and who affirms that the person is registered will do, he says.
The policies make sense. We are dealing, after all, not with a problem of fraud but of known mismanagement resulting in disenfranchisement. It cannot be allowed to go on.