Report back

Here's an election day open thread. Did you vote? How many were there before you? Which candidates were campaigning at your poll site? Who did you vote for?

And are you as glad as me that the campaigns are almost over?



I got to OWASA a little after 7:00 am and stayed until 9:15. Less than 15 voters came in while I was there. OWASA is a very happening place early in the morning--lots of big trucks coming and going. Too bad there wasn't more civic activity. Hopefully, it will rev up later. I'm going back to try and catch the lunch and after work crowds (she said hopefully). 23 voters from that precinct had voted in early voting.

Then I went to vote at Culbreth, where there were no campaigners, and was number 53. Didn't check out the early voting numbers for that precinct.

I stopped by the Cedar Falls precinct (Chapel Hill Bible Church) around 8:45 AM (I had voted early at Morehead). I met Kevin Wolff while there. He seems like a very personable fellow. I was there about 5 minutes and no one came or went the entire time. The few cars there were, I imagine, poll workers.

And yes, Ruby, I will be glad when it is over. I'm afraid that I am going to be disappointed, though, in the lack of civic spirit shown by the eligible voters.

When I voted at First Baptist (Northside) around 8:30am my ballots were #31 and 32, so I think that made me the 16th voter there.

I didn't see anyone campaigning, which is pretty typical. Northside has less voters than the precincts in northern Chapel Hill, so we usually get less attention. There were a lot of signs, though. I like the ones Jason Baker did each with a quotation from a notable endorsement. They were unusual enough to grab my attention.

Just left Homestead (N.Carrboro) precinct. Saw Jacquie, Katrina, Alex, John, and Jean there. Moderate influx of voters that lasted until 9:40 am. All quiet now.

I voted at Damascus. I was the only voter there.

I just finished my sweep of Chapel Hill polling places (including Durham Co!) to make sure I had signs up at all of them, add several, and drop literature where appropriate. I'm exhausted, as I've been up since 3:30 getting things ready and checking signage. I had planned to spend today at Weaver Dairy, but the polling place makes campaigning almost impossible. So I'm scarfing down a sandwich and grabbing more literature before going back out to Battle Park, which is conveniently only a hundred yards or so from my door. I like that I can go home and be back to the polling place, on foot, in under five minutes.

I voted at First Baptist (Northside) this morning. I took some notes to remember who to vote for school board. Also I found it odd that Walker Rutherford was on the ballet still. I ask why and someone volunteering at the polling site said the ballots had already been printed when Walker dropped out. Not a big deal I think but could be distracting to un-informed voters. Maybe not because people can always vote for a write in.

BTW... I think it's so cool that people volunteer to work at the polls. A great thing!

I cast ballots 35 and 36 at OWASA at about 8:20 this morning. I guess that was Terri I saw sitting outside (hi, Terri). There were no other voters present, though someone did come in as I was leaving. I hope things pick up.

I just read that Will Raymond says is planning to post blog updates and photos on Flickr. (He said he would use tag his photos OrangeCountyElections2005, but I suggested op2005, which we have been using this year.)

I voted at Weaver Dairy Road at 7:45. I was number 51 and 3 people came in during the 5 minutes or so I was there. Interestingly, I saw a woman there campaigning for Kevin Wolff with a sticker on her lapel. I guess I just wasn't aware that his campaign was that organized.

(My ballots were 101 and 102 respectively.)

I voted at Smith Middle this morning shortly before 8:00, and I was the 48th voter.

I then was outside Smith from 8 to 9:30 handing out literature for Jean Hamilton.

Will Raymond and Laurin Easthom were there with me the whole time, as was Heather Benjamin, Jeff Danner's wife.

It was really a trickle of voters, not a stream.

10:40 AM Town Hall, Carrboro: I was #101. I read the prediction from an Orange County official for 12-15% turnout- will we beat that?

I must confess that I suggested to WCOM listeners (West End Report@6) that they stay home if they were clueless about the candidates, and let the people paying attention decide. The thought of sheep carrying cribsheets from the Independent into the voting booth gags me.

Tune in to 103.5 FM tonight for the most up-to-date election coverage!!!!

When Will and I did our sweep this morning we saw Mark Kleinschmidt and the chair of OCGOP, who was campaigning for Kevin Wolff. They were both at Estes Hills (the library.)

There was an OCDP volunteer handing out their voter's guides at Battle Creek. Other than that I don't think we saw anyone but it was before seven.

If you go to vote and see any of the candidates' signs wilting or their appendages listing their endorsements ready to fall off please take a second and fix them!

Ellie, E. and I just voted at the Library. We're in the early 200's. Beautiful day. Some pics posted to

Chris, in the future please don't tell people to stay home, tell them to get informed! It's not that hard. For example, I have collected tons of different candidates guides and such here:

I voted at Grace Church on Sage Rd about 9 this morning. No one was there when I got there, 2 people came in after me. I think my ballots were 81 and 82 (not sure). There was a woman handing out flyers for Ed Hamilton. Very, very quiet. .

One more time... there is an easy to use guide to Chapel Hill candidates, including audio of candidate answers to questions on key issues, at , the Neighborhoods for Responsible Growth website.

I voted last Friday afternoon at Morehead Planetarium, where my pleas of "I'm a Carrboro voter!" saved me from the swarms.

I arrived at the Homestead Community Center about 7:40am today and saw Mark, Jacquie, and Jean there. Mark left soon after, and later on, David, Alex, and Katrina arrived. When I left at about 9am, I think Jacquie had said that 90 folks had voted there so far.

Notable was the spread of food from Katrina's campaign, which included boxes of coffee and mini muffins. Did anyone see this at other precincts?

I must confess that I suggested to WCOM listeners (West End Report@6) that they stay home if they were clueless about the candidates, and let the people paying attention decide.

That is a pretty undemocratic thing to say Chris... Is that a message we want broadcast from our COMMUNITY radio station? Attitudes like these could contribute to low voter turn out.

But in fairness maybe you just hit the submit button without thinking about it first. ;-)

There was a lot of food at Grace Church polling place but I did not partake.


Do you know who was providing the food at Grace Church?

It seems odd to me for candidates to be giving voters food at the polling place- isn't that an inducement and isn't that illegal? Gerry?

In the past, when my precinct voted at Grace Church, there would be coffee and some snacks (like donuts) inside the polling place but it never seemed to be associated with any candidate. I always assumed that the poll workers had taken it upon themselves to make the wait for the voters a little more enjoyable (back then there were actually lines at 7 AM). I sometimes partook of the coffee - the donuts I didn't (don't) need.

If that's the case I see no problem with it George. The report from Joan about Katrina's campaign distributing food was what I found more curious.

here are the statutes:
§ 120‑8. Expulsion for corrupt practices in election.
If any person elected a member of the General Assembly shall by himself or any other person, directly or indirectly, give, or cause to be given, any money, property, reward or present whatsoever, or give, or cause to be given by himself or another, any treat or entertainment of meat or drink, at any public meeting or collection of the people, to any person for his vote or to influence him in his election, such person shall, on due proof, be expelled from his seat in the General Assembly. (1801, c. 580, s. 2, P.R.; R.C., c. 52, s. 24; Code, s. 2846; Rev., s. 4403; C.S., s. 6092.)
163‑275. Certain acts declared felonies.
Any person who shall, in connection with any primary, general or special election held in this State, do any of the acts or things declared in this section to be unlawful, shall be guilty of a Class I felony. It shall be unlawful:
. . . . .
(2) For any person to give or promise or request or accept at any time, before or after any such primary or election, any money, property or other thing of value whatsoever in return for the vote of any elector;

The general law only prohiibts giving something in return for a vote. The law as to legislatuive candidates (unamended since 1801, with the quaint reference to "meat or drink") also requires some proof that it was in return for vote or influence.

From the above it might appear to be unlawful to be giving people food as they come in to vote if the person giving it was identified as being with a campaign.

I voted Saturday at Carrboro's Town Hall. I have no idea what my voter number was.

Just back from my lunchtime stint at OWASA. Still not a good turnout, but I enjoyed chatting with OWASA staff as they came and went for lunch.

The second part of the question: are you as glad as me that the campaigns are almost over? Absolutely.

Katrina--I think it was very considerate of you to bring food to your poll watchers (which is what I was told by one of the other candidates). Poll watching on a low-turnout election is BORING!!!!!

I should clarify, if she was just giving out food to her poll watchers (which is what Terri says), that is perfectly OK.

I remember in 1972 bringing food to poll workers at Woolen Gym, having some extra, and trying to give the donuts to the election workers inside, who politely refused saying they were not allowed to accept any refreshments.

If Katrina was actually passing out food it sounds as if it might be illegal but I seriously doubt that anyone in this area who takes the time to vote in this election is going to be influenced by a mini-muffin. I would say that this is a case of "no harm, no foul" but I would certainly try to discourage it for future elections (although something inside the polling places set up by workers shouldn't be a problem).

I was voter number three at the Mason Farm precinct at 7:15 this morning. Voter number one was a poll worker. I don't know about voter number two.

No food showing. Sigh.

The food was definitely available for and to voters. It wasn't tucked away behind jackets and chairs but displayed with coffee. I'm not suggesting she was trying to sway voters, but I do want to be clear that the food was not only for volunteers. In fact, I think I heard the candidate say that her idea was that if there were long lines, people could eat while they stood in line. I'm not trying to get anyone in trouble--just offering a clarification of my earlier comment.

Thanks for the clarification Joan. I find that quite disturbing. Hopefully the results tonight will make it a non-issue.

What's the difference between Katrina offering food and Will R giving balloons? I'm sure those with little kids appreciate the balloons as much as others appreciate the coffee. Does anyone really think either of these candidates is trying to buy votes?

Terri, your question fits right in with my prior statement about the spirit of laws, higher standards than the law requires and our seeming inability to agree when "we" go about defining these things. Coffee, donuts, balloons, whatever, what about rides to the polls - can candidates underwrite them? At these gas prices, we're talking a major expenditure! :-)

I was at Homestead and Katrina was offering food and coffee to everyone and I didn't find it disturbing. I don't even think anyone other than the candidates and volunteers even knew who had provided the refreshments, and very few voters were accepting it anyway.

I took a raspberry scone. It was delicious. Thank you, Katrina.

No harm, no foul. This is a non-issue, folks, no matter the outcome of the elections.

"What's the difference between Katrina offering food and Will R giving balloons? "

The balloons would be dangerous if inhaled. That's the only difference I can think of.

"No harm no foul?" Is that what they teach you in law school? You sound like the "Really Free Market" kids.

I voted at CH Bible Church at 2:30, and my votes were 317 and 318 respectively.
There were 3 other people there voting and no campaigning.
The usual coffee and drink setup was still there in the lobby.

Wow, I think Eleanor's report is the most stark indicator I've heard yet of how low turnout is- there were 517 voters at Cedar Falls in 2003, so to only have 159 at big of a drop in turnout from 2003 are we looking at? 20-30 percent?

But Tom, I don't think we had early voting yet in 2003.

We did have early voting in 2003, although early voting turnout at Morehead was higher this year than it was then.

And note that when you vote early it is recorded in the State database like this entry for me:

Election Label

Election Desc
11/04/2003 MUNICIPAL

Voted Method

Not a lawyer, but Gerry quoted:

(2) For any person to give or promise or request or accept at any time, before or after any such primary or election, any money, property or other thing of value whatsoever in return for the vote of any elector;

So, this law is practically impossible to enforce. Katrina would have to be seen holding out a muffin, ask if they were going to vote for her, and if they would, she will give them the muffin. Therefore, it seems to me that what she is doing is completely within the law. Is it kosher? Well, why not? As far as I can see, she could have bit Vote for K lettering on every cupcake and it STILL wouldn't upset the law, unless she ASKED or implied they were only for her supporters.

Not a lawyer. Did I mention that?

Early voters are counted along with people who mail in absentee ballots in an 'Absentee Precinct' and are not added into the totals from their home precinct. So 517 people voted at Cedar Falls on Election Day two years ago, and this year it's looking like it will barely crack 300 barring a late day upswing.

the main purpose of the "no entertainment of food or drink" statute passed in 1801 was to attack the practice of giving the voter a little bottle of liquor with a premarked ballot wrapped around it for the voter to take into vote. Until the introduction of the Australian Ballot in the late 1800s (not the same thing as the secret ballot), the voters (actually the candidates or parties) provided the ballot, the state did no printing. ergo the "Democratic ticket" was the "ticket "(a synonum for ballot) prepared by the Democratic party for the voter to take in.

I do not think the criminal statutes were really written to deal with ice tea and mini-muffins, although they literally cover them.

Ruby, your comparison of me to the " "Really Free Market" kids", as you put it is odious, untenable, and ridiculous. So much so, in fact, that at first I thought you were kidding.

To make a comparison, a nexus and a basis for comparison is necessary. What is that nexus, where is the basis for comparison, how do you see my observation of no harm done as similar to the ones made by people who justify the stealing of other people's property? Merely that it strikes you as a rationalization is no argument. That is an emotive response, not a rational one.

Precisely what they teach us in law school is to be able understand how far one case can be compared to or distinguished from another. It is the cognitive basis for stare decisis, and I am afraid that my observation and the rationales posited by the "kids" are so distinguishable that any such comparison would earn a much-deserved reproach if made in the law school classroom.

It should be abundantly clear to the dispassionate observer that I stand nothing to win in supporting Katrina. The only basis for my statement is a conscience that abhors silence in the face of bald unfairness. On the other hand, those who have taken pains in pointing out Katrina's actions as legally questionable have accused her repeatedly in the past of other transgressions.

I do not support Katrina's vision for the future of Carrboro, but I'll be damned if I'll let that fact cloud my judgment as to the correctness of individual acts. Shame on you for letting your emotions toward an individual dictate your argument.

David Marshall wrote:

"Shame on you for letting your emotions toward an individual dictate your argument."

Dvid, did you intend for this to be an ironic statement? Wishing shame on someone (in this case, Ruby) for allowing human emotion to enter into a decision process? Sounds something other than, uh, dispassionate....

Separating emotion from reason is frankly a rather silly conceit, one that is, to put it mildly, collecting dust in the recesses of withering Victorian minds.

Rhetoric aside, if an emotion leads one towards fallacious reasoning, that's a problem, but the problem is with the fallacy rather than the emotion "behind" it. If an emotion colors some statement that enters into a valid apparatus/argument, there really shouldn't be any problem as long as the apparatus is valid.

Where emotion (inevitably, I suspect) comes into reason, at least in the case of making an argument, is in the process of selecting and/or formulating the assumptions one puts into the system. One's grounding, beliefs, axioms, etc.

I would hope that we would refrain not from feelings but rather from blotting out our feelings when formulating our operating assumptions. More importantly I would hope that a leader would not deny or occlude the means by which he or she derived his or her operating assumptions. I passionately hope that it would start with at least a little love.

I got yelled at at my polling place so I am going to go cast a provisional ballot somewhere else, with permission. I just came home to recall who the guy with the beard was that said he would shave it off if we vote for him! He has my vote!! STTO, man! (shave that thing off)


Separating emotion from reason is necessary when the decision-making process is a legal one.

Since you open the door to a general discussion on the role of emotion in decision-making, let me ask you a few questions.

How do you otherwise distinguish an emotion that leads to fallacious reasoning from one that's not? "I just know it when I see it", isn't a worthy response, as we should all know.

How do you answer the mother who wants the state to kill her daughter's rapist and murderer? Should her emotional argument win the day?

When outrage precedes rational thinking, watch out: that is a sure recipe for a whole lot of bad things.

But you speak of emotions in elevated terms, and bad and good emotions in equal terms, as if there are no inherent or distinguishable dangers in them. If you speak of compassion, love, tolerance, then, Patrick, my good friend, I am all about that. But if it comes to hate, anger, revenge, and spite, then I think that is where I will get off the boat and swim to shore.

Emotion should be tempered by reason, not the other way around.

BTW, for those who feel like I overreacted to Ruby's comment, you are right. Haven't slept in 3 days. I apologized to Ruby already in person.

I'm closing up from Battle Park, after having visited several precincts today.

One of the most interesting things to me was the difference in the feel from precinct to precinct. For example, poll workers in one precinct early this morning noticed I didn't have a name tag, so they took one of theirs, cut off the "poll worker" part of it, wrote my name on it, and gave it to me. I wore it all day through a dozen precinct visits until about fifteen minutes ago when I got back to Battle Park and was asked to take off my BOE-provided nametag when I came inside. Strange. I suppose it might have been because I knew my poll workers and they didn't want to give any appearance of unfair bias towards me.



Community Guidelines

By using this site, you agree to our community guidelines. Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will result in moderation or eviction.


Content license

By contributing to OrangePolitics, you agree to license your contributions under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.

Creative Commons License

Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.