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State Journal: Tie-vote trouble; Foreign competition

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It was embarrassing enough for Christine Todd Whitman and James Wallwork, who are running for the Republican nomination for governor of New Jersey, when it was revealed that they did not vote in their local school elections last month.

But a further twist of the knife for Ms. Whitman was provided when it came out that the election in which she failed to cast a ballot ended in a 207-to-207 tie. As a result of the tie, the Tewksbury district's $4.07 million budget was defeated.

Making matters worse, the candidate and her spokesman have given several conflicting accounts of what prevented her from voting.

Campaign aides first said Ms. Whitman had voted. When presented with records showing she had not, her spokesman said she did not have time to get to the polls.

Later, Ms. Whitman told reporters she makes it a practice not to vote in school elections because her children attend private school.

She has since changed her tune, saying she intended to vote but arrived in town eight minutes after the polls closed. And, she said, she meant she did not vote in school elections in her old community of Far Hills, but does vote in Tewksbury.

Cary Edwards, the third G.O.P. contender, was quick to tell reporters that he had voted. So did Gov. James J. Florio, the Democrat who is seeking re-election this fall.


An Idaho proposal to limit foreign-exchange students' participation in interscholastic sports has drawn an unusually strong rebuke from Gov. Cecil D. Andrus.

Mr. Andrus wrote to the Idaho High School Activities Association to protest a plan to bar foreign students from varsity athletics during their first year in Idaho schools.

"It would be nonsense to prohibit foreign-exchange students from our sports competitions,'' he said, urging the group to drop a "ridiculous'' idea.

"Our schools already face global competition,'' he said. "We need to prepare our students to meet that competition, whether it is in basketball or biology.''

The proposal was reportedly inspired by complaints from parents whose children had been bested by foreign students.

But Bill Young, the executive director of the I.H.S.A.A., noted that students who transfer from other states without their parents already face a one-year limit on participation.

"It's an equity issue,'' he said. "We want to treat all students the same, whether they're transferring from New York or from France.''

The association's board is scheduled to consider the proposal next month.
--K.D. & H.D.

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