Name Recognition has been big stuff in past District of Columbia elections. But this time around, the who's who and how to vote for them has become singularly inscrutable as Tuesday's 5 p.m. deadline for voter registration approaches. There has even been confusion about what tools the voters will be allowed to use when they cast their ballots: punches, pens and pencils have always been all right, but with the announced write-in campaign of Jerry A. Moore Jr., there is a move to allow rubber stamps and stickers.
Mr. Moore's re-entry into the at-large D.C. Council race adds even more confusion, since there already is a Mr. Moore on the ballot in this contest: independent Brian Moore (not to be confused with former council member Douglas Moore). Another candidate is Republican Carol Schwartz, who won the nomination of her party, which -- at that time, at least -- also was the party of Jerry Moore. But now the chief supporters of Jerry Moore are six Democratic members of the council, including Polly Shackleton, representative of Ward 3 -- which is the home base of Mrs. Schwartz.
Other Democrats are supporting the Statehood Party candidate, Josephine Butler. Also running for one of the two at-large seats is a Democrat, who for this partisan reason alone, is considered a sure- fire winner already: incumbent John Ray.
With more than four weeks to go before the elections, there is time for voters to unconfuse themselves and make their choices. But anyone not yet registered has little time left to qualify. The rolls close at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The option to stay home on Election Day is perfectly legitimate, of course. But for those who don't register by deadline, the option to vote will be foreclosed.