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Now that another Election Day is behind us, New York needs to tweak its balloting procedures to ensure fair representation for all candidates when the next election arrives.

One issue that emerged locally this year involves a provision in state election law that keeps candidates from appearing on independent lines if they are already on two or more political party lines. But the problem is that candidates are not all treated the same.

The District 13 ballot in Auburn illustrated the issue perfectly. Two city council candidates who secured independent Auburn First lines were forced to squeeze that designation into the same box on the ballot as their Working Families ballot line. But the county candidate, because he didn't get the Working Families designation, got his own Auburn First line.

The idea behind the law is to prevent people from obtaining a limitless number of ballot lines, but a more fair way to do it would be by allowing just one independent line in addition to any official political party lines.

Another inequity in the mix is the fact that candidates for the state Legislature in Albany and statewide offices are exempt from this law. We don't believe that candidates at any level of government should be treated differently, so fixing this local problem should mean having it apply across the board.

So after the dust settles from Tuesday's contests, state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo should get work on fixing this glitch. Laws regarding elections must always aim for a more consistent, and ultimately equitable, democratic process.

The Citizen editorial board includes publisher Rob Forcey, executive editor Jeremy Boyer and managing editor Mike Dowd.

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