Have you voted yet?

One stop voting is open NOW! Friendly volunteers are waiting for you to record your preferences.

Orange County Board of Elections Office
110 East King Street, Hillsborough, N. C.
October 20, 2005 – November 5, 2005: Monday – Friday , 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Three Saturdays, October 22nd, 29th, and November 5th: 9:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.

Chapel Hill Morehead Planetarium
October 24, 2005 – November 5, 2005: Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Two Saturdays, October 29th, and November 5th: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Carrboro Town Hall
October 24, 2005 – November 5, 2005: Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Two Saturdays, October 29th, and November 5th: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Issues: 

Total votes: 103

Comments

Jason,

The Transportation Board has had two UNC undergrads as regular members during the last few years. Although a term is generally 3 years, we never asked the students when they were applying whether they intended to serve their full 3 years if appointed. It was more important to us that the student constituency be represented since they are by far the major users of the transit system. All we asked of the student applicants was that they understand the commitment level (# meetings/month; # hrs per meeting) and that they meet this commitment as long as they could.

We've had non-student members who didn't fulfill their full terms either because the commitment was more than they anticipated or their personal or work situation changed. I don't think we should hold students to a higher (nor lower) standard than any other citizens and, as you pointed out, I'm sure that there are students who are willing to serve for all the right reasons.

Good luck in the election and I'm sure you'll continue to stay involved whatever the outcome.

Will, same goes for Carrboro advisory boards -- not only auditing but filling vacancies. I told the DTH interviewers that this is prime resume-building real estate.

WillR,
You stated "I suggested that now's the time to start getting involved in the implementation-side of their majors - if for no other reason than to bolster their resume."

I was on the Council committee (Chaired by Mark K and Jim Ward) that considered the issue of getting more student involvement on advisory boards. One of the suggestions was having student liaison positions (of course, students could always apply for regular positions as do other citizens). A student representative said that students would never be interested in liaison positions (especially if they were non-voting) because they wouldn't look as good on their resumes.

I may be old-school but I still believe that people should serve on advisory boards because they are interested in what the board does and they want to make a difference in our community. I would hope that resume building is not their major, nor even their minor, reason for volunteering. But then again, I'm old-school.

George, well said. It bothers me and I think it severely diminishes the perceived seriousness of student involvement in town politics when we look at our approach to service from a resume-building point of view. This isn't unique to town politics - from my involvement on campus, especially in political organizations, it becomes quickly apparent that a small minority are only involved to pad their law school admission chances. When these folks end up in leadership position, things quickly stagnate as it becomes clear that they hold no interest in actually doing any real work, just holding a title.

But I think out of tens of thousands of students, we ought to be able to muster up a few who have an honest interest in serving on boards and commissions. If you don't find me at the front of the Council Chamber next spring, I hope you'll find me across the hall in the First Floor Conference Room serving in some other way. I don't think we need to make a dedicated student position on advisory boards - just make them accessible to everybody by keeping at least a few of the terms short enough that those with less than three years left in town could put in a full term.

Yes! I went Monday to the Planetarium and, no surprise, no line. My kids excitedly entered my ballots into the feeder of the ballot box....meanwhile saying loudly, "mom! why didn't you vote for...(so and so)..."

That's hilarious Laurin.
I voted last Thursday in Hillsborough. I was ballot 16.

Ballot #69 at Morehead yesterday as of 1:30 PM.

My estimate is that they are getting one ballot per poll worker per hour.

Ballot #7 at Carrboro Town Hall on Monday. Lucky number.

Apparently, some campus groups plan on voting as a whole next week. That seems like a fantastic idea; if every group that met on campus next week just went to the polls afterward, I bet we'd have upward of 1,000 students hitting up Morehead Planetarium.

(As for me, I'm out of town. Voting Monday after class!)

Still haven't decided who to vote for considering the lack of sufficient discussion from any candidates concerning crime.

Theresa, as a former police officer I actually have a lot to say on that subject. Also, I received the endorsement of the Police Benevolent Association. Any chance I can sit down with you in the near future and go over my concerns and hopes for the future?

I'd love to talk to all the candidates along withthe chiefs of police for both Carrboro and Chapel Hill. Come tour Ruby's and my neighborhoods...see what we are talking about. If you want to get people out to vote, come talk to those residents. I doubt playground equipment in Baldwin Park is not enough to get many of them out to vote since I still see few (if any) children in the park (could it be that their parents don't thinks its safe enough).

I was #23 at Morehead on Monday. Jason Baker was #24, and Jeff Danner was #25 :-)

Sorry to be a dummy here, but can any Orange County voter vote at any of these places? I know we could last year, but that wasn't for town elections. ??

Early voting in Chapel Hill = Morehead Planetarium weekdays 9-4. Carrboro = Carrboro Town Hall weekdays 9-4. Hillsborough and all of Orange = Board of Elections in Hillsborough weekdays 8-5. All three early voting sites are open on Saturdays 9-1

any Orange County voter can vote at any of the the three sites regardless of which town or school district they live in. Residents of the two Durham County precincts in Chapel Hill early vote at the Board of Elections office in downtown Durham.

Theresa,
You have stated "I Still haven't decided who to vote for considering the lack of sufficient discussion from any candidates concerning crime."

I was one of two candidates personally invited by a local business owner to participate in a task force on crime/safety issues downtown. Even though it took time away from campaigning I researched and then compiled a paper with proposals which I have sent to local businesses and I presented them at the second meeting. You can read the proposals/research on my website www.robincutson.com I have also addressed this issue at several forums. I would love to talk with the residents of your neighborhood on this issue and any other issues of concern. Please drop me a line at rcutson@aol.com

Sincerely,
Robin Cutson

"some campus groups plan on voting as a whole next week. That seems like a fantastic idea; if every group that met on campus next week just went to the polls afterward, I bet we'd have upward of 1,000 students hitting up Morehead Planetarium."

Or if it goes as well as YD's spectacular well-organized rally at noon on Wednesday, we'll have upward of 3 students hitting up Morehead Planetarium! :)

I voted on Thursday!

If a thousand students vote I'll shave my head.

And I hereby challenge my dear friend and future Councilman Will Raymond to shave off his beard if a thousand students vote :)

Challenge accepted. I've had my beard for years but I will shave it off if a thousand students vote!

If a thousand students vote, I'll shave all of the wasteful spending out of our budget!

Okay, I admit, that was lame, but I was running out of family-friendly options.

Haha see you cut your long hair off too early so now you have nothing to offer.

How about if you get elected to Council you'll let your hair grow back again, like don't cut it for six months or something?

Haha, I'm wanting Coletta to be right... not to be defeatist, but I think that students will disperse rather than march up to vote together after the Edwards debate. I'm guessing the reasoning will go like this "Hm, everybody walking up together? I'll just go by another time when it's convenient and I won't have to wait in line. I have plenty of time to vote!" We generally try to avoid things like lines or waiting. Hopefully they'll prove me wrong.

Chris, if the DTH would be so kind as to print a schedule of groups that plan to do this, I imagine we could get a few candidates to "show up" and help encourage them to stay and vote.

During the 2004 election, besides handing out literature for the Democratic Party to those incredibly long lines, I also successfully encouraged folk to stay.

Chris, has the DTH pointed out that if you take or teach a class in Planning, Political Science, Human Services, etc. - areas where local involvement is key - that getting your class to go vote en masse is also a great idea?

I asked to two students getting planning degrees if they'd ever attended a local Planning Board meeting. The answer? No. I suggested that now's the time to start getting involved in the implementation-side of their majors - if for no other reason than to bolster their resume. The same could be said for voting this year. The next Council faces the largest planning issue in our Town's history - seems like if you're a planning person now's the time to step up and vote.

And if you're a Political Science major and you don't vote...the cognitive dissonance of that is quite something....

Hey you guys are amateurs about this "shave off my beard
thing". Remember that Joe Namath was paid 10,000 bucks
to shave off the left half of his beard on TV, probably by
Gilette. Then he had a charity auction to determine
who got to shave off the other side -- made a fortune!
Get creative Will, Tom and Jason!

Joe, luckily we still have amateurs running for Council.

GeorgeC, I would hope anyone that is interested in contributing to our community come forward to either serve on Council, as Jason is running to do, to serve on an advisory board or to just "show up" as a concerned citizen before the Council, a board or in some other fashion.

For some areas of local governance, the learning curve can be a bit daunting.

As part of my continuing efforts to open up participation, I've been talking about using modern technology and techniques to lower the bar to participation.

An example of this would be a Wikipedia for Chapel Hill to maintain an "institutional memory" of where we came from and where we're going vis-a-vis policy. This would be a place for minutes + context + discussion instead of the schemativ history we usually record. For instance, unless you've read all the online minutes of Council going back to '87 (something very few of us probably have done ;-) ), you might not be able to quickly understand the historical context of this Spring's budget review. While Alan Rimer might remember the earlier great debates on commercial trash pickup, etc. unless you've done a bit of homework it would be difficult to understand the redundant thinking going on.

WillR,

I don't think it's the learning curve that's keeping citizens fron volunteering to serve on advisory boards (although it certainly might be keeping people from more ambitious levels of service). I think it's the time commitment. Everyone seems to have so many balls that they're juggling that the idea of adding another is what's so daunting - at least IMHO.

Well, until we can get the town to implement it...

Ruby, what do you think of the idea of an OP wiki? Seems like a citizen maintained history/information source is a really good idea.

Shoot me an email November 9th and I'd love to help set it up. :)

GeorgeC, isn't part of the time commitment learning the issues. I know how much time I've spent familiarizing myself with zoning issues, not just the comprehensive plan and LUMO but the history behind them, researching the budget, mining the minutes, etc. I believe you'll agree (as an old-hand at Townhall) wise and effective decisions on the advisory boards requires more than just sitting through the meetings. Many of the Town's Technology Board membership, for instance, spend quite a bit of time doing outside research, meeting as sub-committee's and generally reviewing our Town's status. Maybe my view is skewed because of my experience with my own board, the planning board, the transportation board, the HWCC, etc.

WillR,

Yes, I agree that part of the time commitment is learning the issues and I think that shortening the learning curve as you described would certainly help. But there is still a minimum amount of time required, under the best of circumstances, and I'm afraid that many people are afraid that they can't even commit to that minimum. In a way, I feel kind of sad that our helter-skelter pace seems to be the driving force behind so much of our daily lives.

Amen GeorgeC

Will,

Getting a bunch of classes to vote en masse would be a great idea. I'm not convinced that printing it in the DTH would be the best way to do it, though. Maybe personal e-mails to folks in the political science department? I'm skeptical that professors would be willing to give up the class time, but gosh -- what better lesson can you give than a hands-on one

Like, if we all did it. Not just me, but everyone. That could work, right?

... I'm really trying not to be defeatist.

If "printing it in the DTH" leads to even one more student voting, we are that much farther ahead.

If any one person does something/anything toward encouraging/helping more people to vote that's another move ahead.

Think small.
It adds up.

Chris, I met a gentleman during one of my Pit sits that said his fraternal organization required they vote. Do you know this group? Maybe they would make an excellent feature for the DTH. And maybe you could report on how many of your staff (I'm assuming all) will or have voted in this years election. Might be neat to get an "internal" read on why and why not your own folk are voting.

Am I the only one who is bothered by the fact that we have to convince/cajole /encourage students to vote? I remember that I couldn't wait to be old enough to exert this right. Is it apathy or depression that keeps the students away? I hope it's depression - at least I can find some resemblance of empathy having lived through the "Tricky Dick" era. But apathy is really hard to understand given the multitude of opportunities that are available for participation today. I mean, how long does it take to vote? 30-60 minutes? Of course, if the parents don't vote, why should we expect any more from the children.

GeorgeC, I don't know if it'll make you feel any better but all the candidates also have to "convince" non-student voters to turnout to vote.

If you go to Morehead anytime in the next week, it'll take you more like 5 minutes to vote - not 30-60!

Good point about parents. Last national cycle I suggested that a concurrent "kids vote" be held at various polling places to both excite the kids and to encourage the parents to come out and vote (and set a good example). We've taken our son to vote with us since he was born. He cannot wait to cast his first ballot.

http://heraldsun.com/orange/10-662030.html
HILLSBOROUGH -- In the "one-stop voting" that started last week, 335 voters had cast ballots in several Orange County elections by mid-afternoon Friday, according to the Board of Elections.

The one-stop voting began at the Board of Elections office in Hillsborough on Oct. 20, and has drawn 128 voters.

The Chapel Hill location at Morehead Planetarium opened on Monday, and has drawn 140 voters, while 67 early ballots have been cast at Carrboro Town Hall since Monday

GeorgeC, I still have a bumper sticker that says "Don't Blame Me -- I Voted for McGovern!"

I went through and looked to see what percentage of my professors during the time I've been at Carolina who live in Chapel Hill voted in the 2003 Town Council election.

Only one third of them did. And I'm a Political Science and History major. Pretty disturbing,

At 11:30 a.m. there were 160 votes cast at Planetarium. I put out a homemade sign that read "vote today! 9-1 p.m. at Planetarium" on MLK. Didn't have time to make more of those...I'll put it back up during the week to read 9-4 p.m.

My wife & I were at Morehead at 9:30 this morning. We were the only ones there other than the staff. No one else came in during the 5 minutes or so we were there (it didn't take 5 minutes to vote - 2-3 minutes of it was for the staffer to figure out how to spell my name).

Thanks GeorgeC for the update.

 

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