Election day open thread

What's on your mind?



Given the limited turn out expected for the primary, I agree with Ruby, and expect Fred or Barry to come in fourth. A larger turn out would decrease Mike's standing and increase Barry's and Fred's.

That three hours of sleep is not nearly adequate...

off to the 7 AM Fred Battle volunteer meeting...if anyone wants to help today e-mail me offline :)

I also want to know who stole/knocked down so many of Mike Nelson's signs, which bit the dust at a much higher rate than any other candidate.

I know Alice has always finished first in the past but it just doesn't seem to me like she's run that strong of a campaign. Maybe she doesn't need to though.

I think Mike and Barry have run by far the best campaigns, but I still think Fred could win based on the impressive job he's done in picking up endorsements and the large volume of people whose lives he's touched over the course of his life.

So I guess what I'm saying Ruby is that I'm not making any predictions in this race either :)

Someone be bold and tell us what's going to happen!

I will predict an order of Fox, Stein, Baddour, Anderson, Patrick, Oettinger for Superior Court.

Well, no one can blame the weather today for their failure to get out to vote. A dismal turnout will just reinforce the fact that too few people in this country now appreciate this right. My instincts tell me that if many of the people who boycotted or protested (congregated) yesterday could vote they would exercise that right since I believe that they fully understand and are grateful for the opportunities that being in this country offer.

Can anyone with a stronger history background than me tell me if there is any precedent to link the decline in voluntary participation in government with the demise of a society?

George, for one take on the phenomenon, pick up Robert Putnam's "Bowling Alone"- a compelling statistical portrait of America's disengagment in public life, and his attempt to explain the causes.

In his estimation, generational change and television are the big culprits, with urban sprawl coming in a distant third.

Does anyone have predictions, particularly in the BOCC race? I think just about any combination of the top four contenders could pull it out.

I was voter #12 in Northside precinct this morning. There was a woman handing out literature for Adam Stein and Fred Battle. No other candidates were represented (besides their signs, of course).

I hate predictions, it's so easy to be wrong! But... I can picture scenarios where Fred or Barry come 4th. It seems a little less likely for Alice, and extremely unlikely for Mike.

Mind you, this is not what I WANT to happen. I voted for Barry, Fred, and Mike.

I will admit that I'm trying hard even to remember to vote today. So, I guess to answer your question, Ruby: voting is not on my mind. But I'm trying to put it there.

I just spent the morning at North Carrboro working for Barry.100 plus voters by 9:45-about the same as that time on last november's election day.Kent was doing very very well!
My guess is
in that order
Adam and Chuck for Judge and that KEnt will carry a few Carrboro polling places

I think Fred & Barry are a lock with Alice & Mike battling for 3rd.

I know someone put together interesting analysis maps after the last election. I anyone is thinking of doing this, I'd love to see the following data:

1. % turnout of registered voters by precinct
2. BOCC candidate totals in three highest turnout %age precincts and three lowest %age precincts.

If this could be done by party to get percentage of turnout by party registration as well, that would also be interesting.

Reports coming into Battle Campaign HQ indicate amazingly low turnout at both Weaver Dairy and Lincoln, two distinctly different precincts. 81 folks had voted at Weaver Dairy as of 9:30 AM, which seems to indicate it's unlikely that it will get anywhere near its total of 568 for the July 2004 primary. And as of about 9 Lincoln had only 15 voters.

Adam Stein and Fred Battle have the highest visibility out there according to folks I've talked to.

I one-shot Nelson and Stein. I'd be happy enough with Jacobs, Gordon or Battle. I predict Gordon will easily be the top vote-getter. I'm totally confused about what effect Fred Battle will have on the outcome of this election. My intuition says Gordon, Jacobs, Nelson-- that order... But Fred may really surprise me.


Do you vote at Coles Store? How's turnout? I think that could have a big impact on Mike's chances.

Turnout in Efland as of noon was 87, which included 19 early voters.

I have been at the polls since they opened, it is the "hard core" voting today.

If you haven't voted, don't forget the Democratic appellate court judges!

Robin Hudson
Bob Hunter
Linda Stephens

Easy way to remember is that they are the first candidate on the ballot in each of the three races.

Efland had 362 voters in July 2004 so that's looking like another big drop in turnout.

Has anyone been anywhere where it doesn't seem like there's a big drop?

At about 9 o'clock this morning, I was voter 19 in the OWASA precinct. (It was nice to see Mike Nelson's name on a ballot again.) A couple of folks came in while I was voting. In the July 2004 primary, OWASA had 215 voters.

Can unaffiliated voters vote for the democratic party primaries candidates?

Howdy. Solid information, please: I'm feeling absolutely ignorant and confused with respect to the new non-partisan judicial election process and what this primary means. Are we electing these judges directly now? Do the two top finishers advance to the November general? Or is there a runoff only if someone doesn't end up with x percentage of the vote? (And, if so, what is thart percentage?) I don't want to cast an ignorant vote! HEEEELP!

Great question, Corey. The answer is YES! When you go in and tell them your name, you can just tell them which ballot you want.

Once I took the Republican ballot, just so I could vote for Pat Buchanan and mess with Bush Sr. ;-)


In each of the three statewide judicial races the top two candidates will face off in the fall regardless of vote totals.

In the Superior Court race the top four will move on to fight for two spots in the fall.

Hope this make sense.

Mark, I presume you are talking about the Superior Court district 15B race. My understanding is that the top FOUR will advance from the primary to the general election in which the top TWO will each get a seat. (Who the hell thought this up?)

I think that normally they will be staggered, but there were two resignations recently so both seats are open.

I agree with Tom who predicted Fox, Stein, Baddour, and Anderson as the top 4, but I think Patrick could displace one of them.

Much obliged, Tom and Ruby!

Re: turnout -- In 2004, we had primaries for Senate and governor on the ballot. People show up for those more than they show up for county commissioners races.

Someone from one of the campaigns just wrote to correct me:

I don't think I should post on orangepolitics, but one clarification: Carl Fox's seat was newly created and Easley appointed him. then Wade Barber resigned the original one seat, and Easley appointed Baddour.

And FYI, it is totally fine for campiagners and candidates to post on OP, especially if you identify yourself as such.

I don't think the Mike Easley-Ricky Kipfer and Richard Burr-John Hendrix primaries brought out many voters but I could be wrong.

The BOCC race that year was intense, this one has been a yawner. I'm sure that's the main reason for decreased turnout.

I just remember there was a key Republican Gubernatorial primary on that ballot but that wouldn't explain the huge dip in turnout this year by registered Dems.

Yeah, but I'd bet higher profile candidates/races/ads/etc. are still going to remind more people that there is an election than low-profile bottom ticket races -- even if there is more competition for each individual office.

In other words, awareness of issues and candidates and even politics generally were probably higher given that Easley, Burr, Bowles, Kerry and Edwards and Bush and everyone else were running high-profile campaigns -- even if none of those folks were facing serious competition.

With the Congressional race as the biggest deal on the ballot (even though there isn't any competition there, either), I just don't think public awareness of the election is as high in general.

That's my non-academic, theoretical guesstimate thesis.

Man, can you imagine turnout if there weren't competitive County Commission races?

Hello, y'all: the Democratic presidential primary was on the ballot in 2004!

I thought the Dem presidential primary was done by caucus in April, and that the normal primary elections were done in July or something?

That's right Nathan. This is the first regularly scheduled primary we've had since 2000.

But Ruby, I definitely think that impacted turnout in '04.

Plus you did have competitive statewide primaries for Council of State offices: most notably Cobb-Gilmore for Agriculture and Atkinson-Buxton-Stewart for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

"Once I took the Republican ballot, just so I could vote for Pat Buchanan and mess with Bush Sr. ;-) "

Ruby, and all this time I thought you were a closet Republican!

At 8am I was voter #47 at Scroggs Elementary.

Sort of a random thought as I voted today: where I grew up (in NYC) you always voted at a public school. This felt appropriate and I became accustomed to it. Since moving to Chapel Hill, I always vote in a church...today at the massive Bible School on Erwin Road--must be confusing to become accustomed to this yet hear that church and state are supposed to be separate?

Voter number 113 at Kings Mill precinct (Aldersgate Methodist Church) about 11:30.


For better or for worse, Orange County doesn't have 43 schools at which to vote. In fact, I'd bet many precincts in this county don't even have a public building at all. Maybe they should, but that's a whole different can of worms.


Turnout overall this year seems low to me. I canvassed some in my precinct giving out voter guides for the Democratic Party. Admittedly, my turf was almost entirely apartments, which aren't famous for being canvasser-friendly. But it surprised me how much of a dropoff in civic interest we seem to have made from this time two years ago. People were (generally) unaware there was a primary, uninterested in hearing about it, didn't have any information about the races and candidates, and sure as hell didn't want the information I had to give them.

I guess I should have seen it coming after the dismal turnout last fall, but I just decided to self-depricate and assume that me and my fellow candidates were just too boring to get excited about. Maybe it's still just "too boring." After all, I'm really excited about both of the competative local races this year, but we have such a good pool of candidates I'm not going to feel too incredibly disappointed no matter how the results come in tonight (assuming, of course, nothing statistically improbable happens).


I'm not confused by voting in a church, and those who _would_ be confused are also those most likely to also believe that the Whore of Babylon lives among us right now! That is, they're going to believe the army of Satan has invented the notion of a "separation of church and state" and must be resisted, whether they vote in a church or the courthouse.

And may I be the first to repeat this old saying to you, in the interest of humor and good fun on election day (and acknowledging that I haven't adequately answered the question of why we don't vote in public schools, which is a good one):

We don't care how you did it in New York.

...and its corollary:

But can you get us tickets to Phantom?


(sorry, election day always makes me giddy.)

What is on my mind this election day is - why is it so impossible to find out where to vote? I don't know what precinct I'm in, and I can't find a map anywhere.

For folks who don't know what precinct they are in, you can look yourself up at http://www.sboe.state.nc.us/votersearch/seimsvot.htm and then find the address of the polling site at http://www.co.orange.nc.us/elect/#precincts

It's a damn shame it's not easier to find this information. Thanks for asking, Robin.

OK - here is a pdf of voting precincts for people in Carrboro, if anyone still needs to find their precinct:


I just went to vote. Was all set to vote for Nelson even though 2 strong pro-merger/anti-chapel hill folks supported him in an ad this weekend, and even though a prominent local elected official whom I respect advised me not to. When I arrived at my precinct, I saw Rick Kennedy there campaining for Nelson and I knew at that moment that I could NOT vote for him.
Alice Gordon got my one and only BOCC vote! Good Luck, Alice!!

Robin, did you vote in November? If so, and if you haven't moved, you'd vote at the same place.

At 4:30, I voted at Carrboro Elementary, and I was #139. But there were more folks coming in as I left.

Despite a painful and lung-exploding bout of pertussis that has had me bed-ridden for the past 3 weeks, I voted today at 5:22, damascus precinct, voter #141. Nelson, Battle, Jacobs, Stein, Baddour, Hudson, Kanoy, if you're interested.

Ruby, on the state stie, when you look yourself up, it provides an address, images of your polling place and a link to a map that shows it.

How could we make this easier, remail the registration post cards out every other year or so prior to elections?

Fred, a friend of mine commented to me that in California, she got something in the mail from the Democratic party before every election, and that's how she knew it was time to vote. This election was totally off her radar til I mentioned something to her today. So, mailing something might be helpful in boosting turnout.

Well to start with, the county could show maps of where the precincts are and it could provide links to all that helpful state information.

By the way, the state website isn't sure where my poll site is. here's the map I get as a Northside voter.

Ithink your suggestions are good Ruby, but we also need to help the many who have no easy computer access.

Also, when you click your images link, it shows 106 N Roberson St. It should stick in the 'N' on the main page.

Fred, I might modify your statement slightly from...

"Ithink your suggestions are good Ruby, but we also need to help the many who have no easy computer access."


"Ithink your suggestions are good Ruby. but We also need to help the many who people without have no easy computer access."

But I still agree.

Efland--Superior Ct.




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