Open election thread

Talk about write-ins, endorsements, the OP voter guide, what-have-you...

What's wrong with the Indy's endorsements? Is a vote for Nader as good as a vote for Bush?

What do you think of one-stop early voting? Is it advancing democracy or messing up the process?



I think the Indy's endorsement of Fletcher for Supt of Public Instruction is based on the *possibility* of his bringing new ideas to the office. Atkinson is a lifelong educator which sometimes makes an individual less likely to see alternative ways of addressing schooling. Sex education is important but it isn't the only criteria that should be used in making this decision.

Education is a major state budget item--this is an important office for many reasons. Here's a voters guide published by a non-partisan education, foundation (questions to ask--not endorsements):

Dear Jeff,

You are wrong about those write in candidates. They are valid and if written in they will be counted.

Go to and click on the "2004 Qualified Write-in Candidates" and you will get a PDF file with thier names on it.

If you write them in the WILL be counted.


Croatan, looking at your link, it seems that Jeff is wrong. But only about whether anyone has petitioned for write-in status - not about what a missed opportunity writing-in a candidate for president would be.

I apologize for my factual error. I believe that Kerry represents a huge difference from the status quo, including in environmental policy. And I believe he is the only one capable of defeating the incumbent at this point in time. North Carolina is still in play. The Republicans are pulling for you, really hard, to write in somebody, and they enthusiastically helped related petitioning. That should tell you something.

Are the people at the Indy smoking crack? Yes, they got most of the endorsements right, but how could they endorse the Republican for state superintendent for public instruction? Of the two candidates, he is the one who has been very much against comprehensive sex education, and from the other picks one assumes the Indy is for teaching kids more than "abstinence is the only way".

The Durham People's Alliance, our liberal friends in Durham, have this to say: “the PA-PAC endorsements are surprisingly distinct from those of the
independent and the durham committee, both of whom have failed to
endorse our candidates for various state offices. the independent has
inexplicably endorsed republican christian conservatives for attorney
general and state superintendent of schools!!”

“this is despite the Independent's admission that the rep supe candidate
has “Stone Age” (their phrase) positions on sex education! we also
believe that the rep attty-gen guy would gut the consumer protections
put in place by current atty gen Cooper.”

I can understand the Indy's perceived need to try to endorse a wide range of candidates, but NONE of the Republicans for Council of State fit with the Indy's ideological leanings.

Boy, those endorsements by the Orange County Democratic Party are a real shocker! I would have never expected them to only endorse Democrats. I wonder who the Republicans endorsed?


As I understand it, write-in presidential votes in N.C. only count if a certain number of petition signatures have been collected on behalf of the specific candidate. And I believe that no one has achieved that status here in 2004. That is, a write-in for president will be counted only as "other," in addition to being a missed opportunity to vote for your second-least-favorite candidate.

Hey you forgot the write ins!

Ralph Nader - Independent
David Cobb - Green Party
Walter Brown - Socialist Party

The State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) has endorsed Ballantine for governor.

The Orange Co Democratic Party has endorsed Wynn for the NC Supreme Court.

Chatham County, Durham County, the Town of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce, Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, Research Triangle Regional Partnership, Durham Herald, Raleigh News & Observer, and Chapel Hill News
endorse Amendment One (local listings only)

Nader, Cobb, and Brown have all qualified as write ins.

How dare us, third party supporters, work to expand the choices that NC voters have. I have heard too many times that now is not the time for third party candidates but let me ask you the question - when will be the time? In 2008 when Frist runs, in 2012 when Jeb runs, in 2016 when some other right wing kook runs?

I am not a big fan of Nader but I will defend his right to run. If you want to see who is giving money to the candidates take a look at I bet you will find more big money Republicans on Kerry's list than you will find on Nader's.

The text on the Voter Guide post says "we would like to add columns listing which endorsements each candidate has received, but we need volunteers to do the research… hint hint." To me that means you want this thread to list non-personal endorsements. Too confusing!

It should be noted that the Orange County commissioners were elected in the Democratic primary by a minority of registered Democrats (and some independents). Only Democratic Party county commissioners have ever been elected in Orange County & it will certainly not change this year. There will be a heavy voter turn-out with a large majority voting a straight Democratic Party ticket. Most of these people won't even be able to name a commissioner candidate. The Democratic Party commissioner candidates will disingenuously claim a huge mandate after the election. The media will play along with this charade. And we will continue to diminish true democracy in Orange County as well as wasting a lot of time & money for nothing.

And most of those "big Money Republicans" will also have donated to the Republican candidates as well. AKA "covering your bases."


I guess the question is: Are you a third party supporter, Gray? There is no one by the name Gray Newman registered to vote in North Carolina, so I can't tell what your affiliation is or what your real motivation for supporting Nader is.

And no one - NO ONE - on this site has questioned Nader's right to run. So don't try to sidetrack the discussion with that nonsense.

But many of us feel that voting for any third party candidate in the presidential race this year is foolish.

When will it be time for third party presidential candidates? After George W Bush is gone at the earliest. You can try to rest on smug arguments that there is no difference between Bush and Kerry - just as many did that there was no difference between Bush and Gore. But you are only fooling yourself.

I candidly ask the following:

Would Kerry have lead us into war in Iraq without our traditional allies?


Would Gore have weakened the Clean Air Act and pulled out of the Kyoto treaty?


Will America be even more hated around the world if Bush is re-elected?


Will we be a greater target for terrorist attacks if Bush is re-elected?


You know it's true.

Terri, I apologize for the confusion. Not having done this before, there are still some kinks to be worked out. As it says in the sentence before the one you quoted "please contact us if you have more information." Or feel free to post them in this open thread.

Thanks for sharing the endorsements you posted. I did incorporate some of them into the list, and will try to do more if I can find online citations of them.

This isn't an endorsement or anything, but I was pretty effin' troubled by what happened to me when I went to vote early this past Wednesday, even though I still got my ballot and got to vote ...

When I went up to get my ballot, the woman at the desk only asked me my name. In lieu of that, I tried, even insisted upon, her taking a look at my driver's license, social security card, and voter's reg card. She told me that wasn't necessary, and all she did to verify my identity was ask me my address. In other words, I went up, told her my name and where I lived and got a ballot.

I'm very concerned, because I was under the impression that some form of photo ID would be required to get a ballot, and I used none, and she didn't even look at it when I tried to force it on her. As y'all know, the voter rolls are public record and you can look them up on the internet. Nothing could stop me from doing a county voter search, and then checking those names against the phone book for addresses, and vote multiple times by giving different names I'd uncovered. I don't think people not checking ID's will necessarily lead to this sort of scenario, but there is the potential for fraud this way, and it's shit like this that made 2000 such a mess.

Does anyone know why no ID is required at these polls (I voted at Morehead)? Have any of y'all early voted and had your word taken at face value to get your ballot, with no need for official documentation?

Nick--see the thread for a discussion of the ID issue.

I have never been asked for an ID when I vote. Never. In fact, there may be some legal reasons they cannot ask for ID. There are probably some legal minds reading this that can elaborate, but for instance, you don't have to be able to read or write to vote, and that would make GETTING an ID fairly difficult. So one vote per person, based pretty much on the honor system. And I think the system works well.

By the way, when I voted today in Carrboro, the volunteer explained the ballot to a group of us in line, to speed things up, but did not clearly state that you have to vote for president, judges and amendments, even if you vote straight party. She went through the ballot, but didn't say this explicitly. Someone in line pointed it out, though.

People are just going to have to be responsible for reading the ballot, and asking questions if they can't read or don't understand. Or they just don't get their vote counted. That's the way it goes…personal responsibility…the lost principle.

I am registered unaffliated, check under William Gray Newman, Jr. and you will see that I have voted in every single election that I have been eligible to vote in since I was 17. Thats right, 17. In NC, if you turn 18 before the general election you can vote in the primary leading up to that election. I am currently the only Green Party elected official in North Carolina and am a national co-chair of the party. Any other questions on my political bona fides?

Where did you see in my comments that I said there was not any difference between the candidates? There is some, but not a whole bunch. You wanna see a real comparison of Greens/Democrats/Republicans? Check out:

Do I hope Bush is defeated? Yes. Do I think Kerry will be much better than Bush? No. A Kerry victory will be the best thing to happen to the Greens because it will show the progressives of the USA how right wing the Democrats have become at the national level.

BTW - I didn't vote for Nader this year, I voted for David Cobb

For people leery of voting for Kerry on their right:
You can find a strategic vote exchange here:

Your comparison of the parties is kin to the Republican oversimplification strategy. None of the complex issues listed on your chart can be so simple as support/oppose. I do think we need more voices and points of view with power in this country. But given our Constitution and history, I'm not sure that can be done by additional political parties without changing the way representation is distributed. I think the years of Ross Perot and Steve Forbes were good debates and healthy for our system, and I hope we have more of those election debates in the future. But not this year.....
(Caveat--I am *absolutely* against the flat tax and no positive reference to Ross Perot or Steve Forbes should be taken as support of a regressive tax plan.) ;)

Gray, you have probably also seen the website that "proves" that everyone is Libertarian, too.

Does it strike you at all that you wrote: "Where did you see in my comments that I said there was not any difference between the candidates?" And then two sentences later wrote this: "Do I think Kerry will be much better than Bush? No." I realize that the two statements are not technically directly contradictory, but you are still advancing that same argument.

This argument - that there is no meaningful difference between Kerry and Bush - concludes that it doesn't really make any difference whether we end up in wars in Syria and Iran under W's second trem or in UN-supported negotiations under President Kerry.

Sorry, I don't buy that argument.

Great job of covering candidates running in Orange County!
To see candidates in other counties please take a look at:

WCHL has planned special Election Night coverage, starting with continuous information at 7:00.
We invite everyone to come to Top of the Hill Restaurant at the corner of Franklin and Columbia Streets in downtown Chapel Hill. We hope it will be a "central gathering place" for those interested in all the election returns.
WCHL will have a team of reporters there who'll be talking with local political observers, and those who simply drop by and want to be a part of it. Certainly, there will be a greal deal of good "socializing" there, too, so we hope you'll come and be a part of the fun. I will be hosting the show from the WCHL Studios, and we will call on a number of resources to present complete coverage of what's going on,
on the local scene, all over North Carolina, and across the nation. In addition to our local news team we'll have special coverage from Orange County Election headquarters, "NC Spin," a division of the North Carolina News Network, the vast resources of the CBS Radio Network, and our friends at Air America, as well. We'll be here as the votes are counted, and hope you will listen for this special Election Night coverage. Please join us at Top of the Hill..and we hope you'll listen to News Talk 1360 WCHL, Chapel Hill-Carrboro's News, Talk,and Tar Heels Station.

Hey thanks for the update, Ron. As you can see over at, a number of people will be converging in Carrboro to watch the returns. Perhaps you can send a reporter over to "socialize" with us as well.


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