Election day open thread

I'm not sure whether I'll be awake to kick this off when the polls open at 6:30 am (although it's all too likely with an infant in the house) so I'm starting it early.  What's going on out there, how are you feeling, what are you doing today?

And aren't you glad it's almost over!




3am.BRooks, Sue and I, are getting ready to place sign @ polling sites and setting up our volunteers for the day.  Lots and lots of coffee.

I got to bed a little after midnight between all the last minute stuff... and with grad school that involves mostly evening classes... lets just say I haven't seen 5 am in a long time, and I'm not well used to it. Best of luck out there today Penny!  (Also, if a Penny Rich sticker/campaign lit managed to make it to my hands today, I'd have no problem passing it out)

Just finished handling out lit for Mark at the Patterson precinct from 6:30 to 8:30.  I counted approximately 50 voters.   Patterson is an unusual precinct as some voters can vote for BOE but not mayor.Day started with a somewhat bizarre interaction with the Czajowski person.  First I had to ask him to stop putting his new Czajowski signs directly in front of other signs.   Then after a rather tense silence we had the following exchange.Him: "Do you think we'll see the Obama effect all the way down here?"Me: "Huh???"Him: "I think Obama's going to be a blight on our congressional races down here.Me: stunned silence There were also volunteers for Will Raymond and Christine Lee there.Turn out is going to be key today.  Call all your friends and make sure they vote.

of what's wrong with our precints. Parkside residents have to drive past the Fire Station at Weaver Dairy and MLK to drive to the County to vote at a church or wherever.  Do we really want people to participate in elections? Honestly? As a Progressive county we really shouldn't limit participation by not letting a neighborhood vote at a polling place directly adjacent to and within WALKING DISTANCE of its neighborhood.

Have you seen where students who live on campus have to vote? (There's a really good Google map of them at http://www.orangepolitics.org/election-info .) Some of the precincts are downright hostile to voters. I guess we got one-stop, no-excuse absentee voting as a way to make up for such awful precincts. I don't know how hard it would be to change them.

The precints are a complete mess.  Thank God or Goddess (depending on your preference) for Early Voting. Gerrymandering - alive and well in the 21st Century...

Gerrymandering - alive and well in the 21st Century...

LEAVE ME OUT OF THIS!! Actually I know the backstory behind the campus precinct lines, it dates back to 1973 driven by factors that no longer exist and can be revisited, but the on campus early voting is designed to mitigate that. I'll post more in a few days.

Than the BOE. When I called to complain about it in 2006. They told me they didn't know what could be done.

The BOE worked with residents at Lake Hogan Farms to change their voting place 3-4 years ago.

Can't help but wonder if those are at play, given the makeup of Parkside.

is at the R&R Grill (in the Bank of America building) starting around 8ish if anyone wants to come!

I was number 104 at 8:30 this am at Weaver Dairy.  Better than I expected, but not great.

Samantha Cabe (sorry--i don't have a log-in)

Just dashing home for a moment from campaigning at Northside, where we
arrived at 6:30 this morning and will probably be all day.  About 40
voters had come by as of a few minutes ago.  Most people seem to have
already made up their minds by the time they arrive (no surprise), but
there have certainly some receptive to information, especially in the
Council race.  Also, I got to meet Aaron Shah for the first time
(fellow appointment applicant) - he seems like a good guy with his head
in the right place, and I was glad to get to talk to him and hear his
perspective on local politics.

My husband just called to tell me that he was the 123rd voter at Weaver Dairy.  He said it is very quiet at the moment.

Hmmm... maybe my husband was mispeaking! @josephrschwartz  I was number 213 at the Weaver Dairy Fire Station around noon. We can do better, Chapel Hill.

As I worked the Sewell Polling Station for Matt Cz this morning, I observed (from afar) one voter register an intense reaction to the negative mailer send by CHC PAC. In that case it hurt Mark's efforts -  unintended consequences I'm sure. This is not how I imagine Mark would campaign.

One thing I think we all value is fairness. I don't think anyone who believes in fairness and not partisanship can really support this kind of mailer. This election has brought out some very disturbing behavior.

Steve, I agree we need fairness, and the mailer was uncalled for.  But what I don't understand is why you would base your vote for mayor on a mailer Mark had nothing to do with, as you indicated in your e-mail to abettersite@googlegroups.org earlier today.  That is unfair in my mind. Heather

It comes down to the haves and the have nots in Chapel Hill. I don't really feel strongly about any of the candidates. Matt Cz. is wrong to think National Retail is the right way to go, but the Good Ole Boy network in Chapel Hill is out in force.The good news is that if Mark wins, it will be harder for the influence peddlers to work behind the scenes, because I think everyone will be watching. If Matt Cz. wins, we will all be watching to. I am tired of politics as usual. I am tired of a people claiming values and then paying lip service to the people paying the bills. It really is that simple. 

voter owned elections conceptually with its idea to try to add more distance between money and politics?I'll grant that there is almost always room for improvement on any idea that is implemented, but to me it seems like VOE is a step in the right direction.

I think I prefer to another year like this. The hard part is locking down the PACs, Chambers and everyone else when the candidates have limited resources to respond. Democracy is a work in progress. I don't think only the rich should have access. I don't have anything against wealthy folks or Mark or Matt Cz. This is just a mess. I don't know how to fix the laws, but you don't do everything you can to show the system doesn't work and not at least try to fix it. 

If the goal of VOE was to separate $ from politics, a) I'm not sure we've had a problem in CH that needed addressing; and b) I don't see how it succeeded in that this year. I always thought the goal (particularly at the local level since we don't have a $/influence issue) was to enable those of more limited means to participate.  I think that's a great goal.  But it certainly was not proven this year that our new program succeeded at that goal either.

It's not surprising that so few participated. We have a problem that a lot of people have turned off and don't care.The fact is things go pretty well here. People like it here. Reading OP might make people think that there are riots in the streets, but arguing over esoteric building codes and the like loses people. That said, being a Council person is boring and it's hard.People with limited means can't quit their day job to be a Part-time council person and do we really want a  full-time council. I miss George Washington's views on the Presidency. I am not sure money is the issue. I think time is the issue. But I don't think you throw a program like this out after its first year. You revisit, learn from your mistakes and try again.So, it failed. You should have seen my first game as a Lacrosse Referee. 

I think that either of the two candidates (Mark K, Penny R) that used VOE this year would have been successful in raising campaign money the traditional way if they had chosen to use that route.  Thus this was not a true test of whether VOE would allow someone to run for office who wouldn't be able to run otherwise.  If I had to offer a guess as to what causes many potential candidates to hesitate to run for office it is the inordinate amount of time that is required to campaign during the 6 weeks of full campaigning.  It seems like the number of organization-sponsored forums, neighborhood-sponsored forums, and meet-and-greets has expanded exponentially over the last two election cycles.  While the increased number could in theory provide for a more-informed electorate, the formats often (usually) allow for little more than soundbite responses.

I agree that time is a greater barrier to participation than money. But I think the time is in the job, not in the campaigning. Most lower income individuals don't have jobs that give flex-time, which I would think is an absolute requirement for the town council. Then there are the weekly packets that have to be read and, hopefully, studied/explored prior to the weekly meetings that seem to last 4-5 hours at minimum and the committee meetings, and the planning meetings, and more meetings, meetings, and meetings. If council would allow their zoning ordinances to guide development instead of making everything an SUP, we might see time drop out as the primary barrier, but I don't think that will happen, regardless of who wins tonight. BTW--just returned from voting (Damascus precinct) and was number 133. One of the poll workers told me there were 29 absentee ballots for our precinct giving up a 6% turnout (at 5:30 pm).

There are six of us phone banking in the Young Democrats office at UNC. Things have been going well! Good luck everyone.

I worked the Patterson poll for Mark during lunch.  Cho was there, along with a friend campaigning for MCZ.  By 2:10 they had 196 voters, or I think almost 13%.  It was about evenly split between in-town voters and school board only voters.I stopped by Weaver Dairy and they were reporting about 13% as well.  The folks campaigning at Smith didn't have the numbers at 4 PM, but turnout looked light.  A friend just got back from Lake Hogan Farms and she was the only one voting there at 4:15.How is it that 80,000 people can show up on the spur of the moment to celebrate a UNC victory, but so few can find the time in 12 hours to go vote?  And that doesn't even count early voting!

I just finished my stint working for Mark K. at the Dogwood Acres location. Poll workers tell me the turnout is good for an election of this nature, based on their experience. It's been a beautiful day and nobody has an excuse to miss out on this important election.

Also working here on their own behalf were Matt C, Will Raymond, Penny Rich and Laurin Eastholm. Jim Merritt was here for a while too.

John Rees


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