...must it always rain on election day?



Your welcome Will.

The Town Attorney's memo will be online tomorrow.

In Chapel Hill candidates have to disclose contributions of $20 or more.

[You're welcome]

I'm with Ruby on that fund drive business. Wow. I'm hearing that phone number in my sleep! I'm sure they think that's a good thing, but running the fund drive so hard during coverage that's SO important. UGH!

Mark, any chance you can publish the recommendations now so us "googlers" can get on researching the options?

I'll ask Ralph directly if this hasn't been answered - but can the name/address disclosures be mandated for contributions less than $100? I noticed since 2003 (when I started looking closely at local finance reports) that the more "experienced" candidates take advantage of the "invisibility" of less than $100 contributions.

I understand that the concept is that contributions under some value aren't considered "influential" enough to warrant reporting.

Whatever the rules, I'm hoping we can cultivate a local political culture where going beyond the required levels of transparency is a matter of course...

Thanks for the heads up...

Thanks Joe. I agree with all of the above. And I might add, we've got the satisfaction of knowing that while we might be ahead of the curve it's nice to know that the rest of the nation is catching on.

Off topic: Does anyone know what's up with Nov. 13th's Chapel Hill Council Public Forum: Election Campaign Contribution Limits (Staff Presenter: Ralph Karpinos, Town Attorney)


7 years ago when the limits were established it was contemplated that they be reconsidered occasionally. This year the US Supreme Court issued a ruling from Vermont that said contribution restrictions were too restrictive and also noted that a lack of adjustment for inflation, etc.

Therefore it seems like a good time to revisit our rational.

Come out and offer your opinions.

(Chapel Hill limits donations in Council races to $200 and requires disclosure of all contributions of $20 and up.

The VT limits were statewide $400 for state-wide office, $300 for State Senator, $200 for state rep. They were not indexed for inflation. Ralph offers some interesting comparisons between VT and Chapel Hill. Each State Rep represents 4100, each Senator 20,700...in Chapel Hill each at-large councilmember represents 50,000. Interesting.

This might be a good time to revisit voluntary public financing if our current methods are at risk of attack.

We in Orange County should count our blessings. Here are
a few:

We've got: a judge race with an embarassment of talent
that cares about serving us.

We don't got: A candidate's ad that show a sexy blond inviting
his opponent to "call me tonight".

We've got: a superb U.S. Congressman who should win

We don't got: Suspicious voting results due to voting
machines that have no raw data available.

We've got: Poll workers at Morehead Planeterium and the
other early-voting sites that are willing to volunteer us two
weeks of their lives to conduct top-quality elections.

Yes, I dislike the glossy mailings and stupid
robo calls. But if that's all we've got to complain about, I'll
take a little boredom.

Do I get a gold start this election because I voted?

Tom, you can drop it off at the restaurant.

By the way, Pittsboro's own musical geniuses, Ken Mosher and Tom Maxwell, put together a remixed song with Rikki Lee Jones that they then customized for Democratic commercials around the country. I bring this up because Salon.com has named those commercials the second best political ads of the election season this year:


(You have to scroll down a little, to the best ads, and then keep scrolling to #2 -- they're in reverse order.)

I have been shocked for the past week that instead of valuable local, state, and national election coverage, WUNC radio continues to spend 1/2 their air time on another obnoxious fund drive! I kept thinking, "surely they'll stop this for the election..."

They are all but forcing listeners into the waiting arms of WCHL and Internet radio. (I usually listen to wncu.org or wamu.org during their pledge drive.)

Tonight was the first major election since I had my cable TV service turned off. What a surprise. After watching network TV for the past 5 hours, I have a pretty good grasp on the Senate/House situation on the east coast and the midwest. But I know nothing about the governors races and nothing about the west coast races.

Even WUNC-TV had no election coverage. Apparently one needs to be wealthy enough to afford the $50 a month for cable service or have a certain degree of comfort with the web to get easy access to election coverage. I wonder what role moving all televised election coverage to cable news has played in the the general apathy toward electoral politics.

I could have voted in the 1988 elections, but at the time I believed "Don't vote. It only encourages them."
It was actually through involvement at Internationalist Books and becoming familiar with local government that I got in the habit of voting.
My first turn at the polls was handing out literature for Alex Zaffron's first run for alderman. Dan Coleman called and asked if I would volunteer.

Today, I drove the Durham Housing Authority's "Voter Van," as I dubbed it, a shuttle service to bring seniors and disabled folks to the polls from the J.J. Henderson public housing community in downtown Durham.

Buckets and buckets of rain. Some old and, in a few cases, very disabled voters -- all of 'em poor. God bless that wonderful woman at the polls who was doing the curbside service.
Dedicated .... and soaking wet.
A REAL American, ya know?
Anyway, there is no question in my mind that if we hadn't provided this service, these folks would never have gotten to the polls. Some barely literate enough to fill out the forms, but man, oh, man ... they take this job very seriously and there was nothing but sunshine inside that van.

As we go forward with our likely Dem congress, I hope we do much, much more to simply think of ways to help the poor get into this process more, be heard more. They have a lot to say and a right to be heard. Happy election day everyone.

Sorry about that, Duncan. Too much caffeine, not enough breakfast. Next time I will only approach the polls after the sedation of some good cheese grits.

Isn't this rich. At 7:33 I received a call from our Governor telling me that he knew it was raining over much of the state, but please, he said, go and vote; it's very important to do.

Good intent, poor timing!

My husband and I took two of our children with us while voting. We went to McDougle Middle School around 1pm and we were four hundred and something... very few people were there. My daughter, Naomi, asked me why we had to vote. I put her sticker on her dress and said, "So you can get a sticker. And a democracy too." And then I teared up.

Library: 763 @ 7:07pm, dark, cold and wet.

Sorry Dan, my choices were baked in... Interesting that more than a few folks paused, in the rain, to ask the Stein poll sitter about the shortened term. Not many, but a few.

Thanks Dan for info on Ellie. As you know given the fact that I jeopardized my credibility in the African American community a couple of years ago by writing a column in support of Ellie that was some what critical of Howard, I have much respect for Ellie. However there are still some issues and questions that I will explore at the request of the folk in the community who have relied on my voice for so long and feel neglected and let down. I won't use this time or space to expound; will take up later.

I do want to test what my gut and head are telling me and predict that this election is not going to result in the favorable outcome that so many of the pundits and spin miesters have been predicting in the media. I think the Democrats have done a poor job developing an agenda that comes appeals to the head and hearts of the American public during these times of deep disgust, cynicism, and anger over the way the Bush administration and current Republican controlled Congress have squandered the public coffers to fill the pockets of corrupt politicians and their corporate croonies, betrayed the public trust and basically commissioned the senseless slaughter of American soliders by sending them into a war that can not be justified no matter how you slice it. I voted simply because I have been conditioned to do so and not because I was particularly impressed or convinced by the Democrat's political platform(whatever it is) and because I could not stand running the risk of contributing indirectly to another Republican sweep and victory. So again, I predict come Wednesday morning sad to say, at the national level the Republicans will still be in controll of the both houses and the Senate; albeit by a narrower margin. I pray that I am wrong!

so how are we going to get the chatham results?
Are they available on the web? I can't find them online

I like the sticker I have been seeing around town that says: I never thought I'd miss Nixon.

Thank you, Mark, for a fine tribute to Steve Halkiotis.

My voting history dates back to 1972 when I voted for George McGovern. I still have a bumper sticker from the Nixon era saying, "Don't blame me / I voted for McGovern." Little did we know ...

I first voted in 1988 for Michael Dukakis and the rest of the Democratic ticket. But the first local election I voted in was 1989. Joyce Brown took the then-unprecedented step of campaigning at a Student Environmental Action Coalition meeting and I was very impressed.

I also remember a great local race in May of 1990 when the majority of Orange County Democrats voted for watershed protection and elected Steve Halkiotis, Alice Gordon and Don Wilhoit. They were opposed by a slate of candidates who wanted to allow more development in the Cane Creek watershed. I believe that was Alice's first term, but I think Don and Steve were being re-elected. Man, that doesn't seem that long ago . . .

Maybe we should take a moment to note here that Steve Halkiotis is not on the ballot this time around, and while I am sure that Mike Nelson will do a great job, I will miss Steve's passionate advocacy for his issue. Steve has done a lot for our schools, affordable housing, drinking water quality, solid waste reduction and recycling and I am sure many, many other things I don't even know about. Thanks, Steve, for a job well done.

540 as of 3:30 at Kings Mill (Aldersgate Methodist). I recall that as high for a mid-term election.

It was raining rather hard, so no--I didn't see honest Abe. I did bump into James Madison on my way out, though. He says 'howdy.'

Well, Will, in that case I hope you found my words persuasive.

Umm Dan, it ain't 7:30pm yet. There's still votes to be cast (like mine).

If you run for BOA, I bet you'll be working the line right up to the last voter.

The argument's over but for the counting but I might as well recount a story that occurred at the polls.

While I was at N. Carrboro, Stephen Dear, Director of People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, drove up. He said of course he was voting for Stein and proceeded to tell me and Jacquie (Baddour supporter) Gist of an incident when he had to meet with Roy Cooper and of the immediate and comprehensive assistance Adam gave him in preparing for that meeting.

That struck me as embodying exactly why I've been supporting Adam since day one: that someone like Steve Dear, doing such fundamental social justice work, would turn to him as a matter of course and get the needed help and then some. It speaks volumes.

553 at 2:30 at Scroggs

Joan, that was me at Carrboro Elementary for Adam Stein. My first vote was for Walter Mondale in 1984. My PolySci section leader gave me extra kudos for being the only one in my class willing to admit I was voting for Mondale... And this was at UNC!

Kirk, did you happen to notice "honest Abe"?

Just spoke someone at the Library, over 600 voters so far... Katrina Ryan over on STP is reporting more than 500 at Hogan Farms... Considering the lousy weather, trending well....

So, what are people doing after the polls close?

I just voted at Carrboro Elementary. It was the busiest I have ever seen it on an election day since I've been voting there (3rd time). My four year old son accompanied me and I got a bit choked up explaining what it means to be able to vote (in purely idealistic terms, of course).

I believe I cast the 295th ballot -- if the number on the ballot machine can be trusted. After watching the documentary _Hacking Democracy_ recently, the integrity of voting technology and therefore the entire election process, seems so easily compromised.

And check out some of Verla Insko's issues:


Ruby, I didn't realize that there is no on-campus voting place for students that live on-campus? What about the Morehead Planetarium?

PS I proudly cast my first votes for John Anderson for President and my uncle as county Sheriff.

I was #342 on Sunrise road at 9:30 and had to wait in line!

Didn't count on that!

Anita, there is *early voting* on campus in even years now. Ask Aaron Nelson - he advocated for a satellite poll like Carol Woods has.

This was my first time voting outside of Chapel Hill - we moved outside the city limits recently. 335 people voted at the Cane Creek Church Activity center at 10PM. I was struck by the number of people seated at tables, thoughtfully going over the ballot while voting. Later, we drove past the Dem. Party tent at the CH Library and my 2 year old exclaimed "Those people are having a party!"...

I hate to put anyone out, but can anybody give me a ride to the Damascus precinct? Ruby and I seem to be having the same luck with transportation. In the alternative, are there buses that go there?



I wouldn't say you actually _yelled_ at me and Kate ( each working for different candidates) -- more like a strenuous exception-taking. I promise to pass along your thoughts.

Closing in on 300 at Lion's Club when I left at 1:30 after seven hours. Heading back now.

Just voted at Pittsboro (Central Carolina Community College campus), and was #795. People still streaming in, a line at the table. I'd guess they easily go over #1000 by the end of the day.

What's up with the bubble sheets? I don't like them as much as I liked the complete-the-arrow ballots. They gave me a ballpoint pen to use, and I was worried my marks weren't coming out dark enough. At least it wasn't a touch screen.


I woke up this morning and thought another rainy election day! What's up with that? Then I reminded myself I'd already early voted on a bright sunshining day! It's great to have the choice.

I voted early because of some minor surgery. But all in all, I'd rather be voting by mail.

When I voted it was 70 and sunny. YAY for early voting!

We're at 120ish at Northside as of when I left a few minutes ago to take my first (and probably, only) break of the day. It's been slow, but at least it has been steady. Oh well, a bite to eat and back to work!

Just back from a soggy stint at N. Carrboro, over 500 voters so far as compared to 721 total in '04.

To answer Michelle Laws' question in part, Ellie Kinnaird has been pushing for minimum wage increase (sponsored in Senate), single payer health care, and raising teacher salaries as well as better funding for rural school districts.

Among her many awards:
2002 Appreciation for Neighborhood Help - Lloyd Street Neighborhood Association
2001 Public Official Award - National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
2001 Public Service Award - Child Care Services Association
2000 Advocate for the Poor North Carolina Justice Center

Just back from 2.5 hours of cold misery at the Damascus precinct polling place, Culbreth Middle School. At 9:40 I was the 168th voter. At 11:45 there were 244 votes. Great turnout for our precinct. And for the first time in 3 years I was not out there alone. Allen Baddour had volunteers there too and I heard that Adam Stein had someone out there earlier in the morning.

There are one or two Mike Nelson signs out here in the southern hinterlands, Will. Jamie Daniels signs appeared yesterday for the first time.

Thanks, Cat. Since I've already voted, I'll be one of those who'd rather not venture out in this weather. At least until the parties start...



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