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by Abigail Van Buren

Voters Value Their Privacy in Heated Election Season

DEAR ABBY: I am writing in regard to the letter from "Registered Voter in North Carolina" (Sept. 23). I never tell anyone who I voted for, not even my husband (even though I usually tell him everything). It's not that I don't want him to know, but we respect each other's rights to voting privacy. We have lots of discussions about the candidates and issues, and both research them together. We have similar political views, and through our discussions we pretty much "know" who the other voted for.

I hate when people ask me who I am voting for, and I always decline to state. My husband went to war to protect our rights -- including the right to privacy -- and more people should respect them. -- GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y., VOTER

DEAR VOTER: Thank you for writing. I was pleased to hear from a large number of readers also stressing the importance of exercising our freedom to vote. I am sure I don't have to remind everyone how important it is to vote in the Nov. 4 national election. This is a crucial time in our nation's history. Your vote will affect generations to come, so make your voices heard. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: I say you should be proud of your candidate of choice and say it! If someone refuses to say who they voted for, to me it seems like that person is ashamed to admit he or she supported this candidate instead of that one. If someone asks me who I voted for, I gladly let them know. -- PROUD SUPPORTER IN COLUMBUS

DEAR ABBY: When asked, I say, "I voted for the person I want to win." If the questioner persists, I say, "I don't discuss politics. My doctor says my blood pressure is too high as it is." -- MIDDLE OF THE ROAD IN S.C.

DEAR ABBY: I answer that question by telling people I voted for "the president," because whoever wins, I will support and pray that he/she makes the best decisions for me. I believe no matter who wins we must work together to overcome the problems we face. -- JANE IN JACKSONS GAP, ALA.

DEAR ABBY: The quickest way to get people to drop the subject is to reply, "Isn't it great that we live in a country with private ballots, so we cannot be persecuted or nagged for who we vote for?" The nosy person generally changes the subject after that. -- U.S. CITIZEN, OXNARD, CALIF.

DEAR ABBY: I grew up in a household in which my parents sat on opposite sides of the political fence. My mother had a very tactful way of shutting down conversations about personal politics by responding calmly, "We have a secret ballot in this country for a reason." -- ERIN IN INDEPENDENCE, MO.

DEAR ABBY: I have a simple answer when pollsters or friends ask who I voted for (or will vote for). I say: "I don't even tell my husband that. That's why there are curtains on the voting booth." That usually shuts 'em up. -- ANNA IN ALTON, N.H.

DEAR ABBY: When I'm asked the same personal question, I lean in close and ask in a whisper, "Can you keep a secret?" Of course, they always say "yes." Then I back away and reply, "So can I!" -- VOTING IN HASTINGS, NEB.

DEAR ABBY: I tell people I don't care how anyone votes, as long as EVERYONE votes. Sadly, not everyone is fortunate enough to have that privilege. -- ALEXXIA IN FRANKFORT, ILL.

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