Election Day Open Thread

Polls opened 25 minutes ago. Which campaigns are out trying to cajole that last few supporters?

Are you volunteering today? Have you voted already? What's the scene at our poll sites?

Share your reports and thoughts about whatever you like on this open thread.



I've been to ten polling places today, putting up signs. Every polling place on my trip that was after 6:30am had greeters from the Democratic Party. No Republican greeters encountered yet, though I saw a Republican sign crew making a trip around. It seems like turnout is highly variable in the early hours: some locations had a short line, some had no one at all.I'm at home briefly, but about to go back out to greeting voters again and asking them to support public transit. 

# 297 @11 AM at Cedar Falls. There was a greeter from the Democratic Party on my way in. Lots of reminders from the poll workers to turn over the ballot, including a little paper handout. There was at least one first-time voter. He brought his kids, which I always like to see. There was a guy inside who said he was an observer from the Board of Elections. He was just hanging back. Steady flow of voters, but no line other than for people in the same half of the alphabet checking in at the same time. On my way out, the Republican greeters were setting up with lots of signs.

had a strong Republican contingent. When I asked them why they had a problem with Obama since he is the best republican president in my lifetime, they actually agreed with me. 

 Just wanted to note one unintended consequence that I don't think people are aware of.  There were 1,200 write-in votes for Soil & Water Commissioner, none of which appear to have been cast for any candidate who was actually seeking the job.  While I completely suppport the right of candidates who are not on the ballot to still get votes through the write-in process, I don't think people are aware of what happens where there are hundreds of votes for candidates like Aquaman and Mickey Mouse.  On election day, three board members along with three staff members who had other tasks they could have been doing that were, frankly, more important, spent several hours hand tallying the one stop and absentee writeins.  We finished around 7:20pm.We could not have certified Orange County's early vote totals until that hand count was done, and if staff had not joined the count, reporting the vote on election day would likely have been delayed.  Jim WhiteChair, Board of Elections

Price of doing business I suppose. I think many voters arrive at that part of the ballot (Soil & Water) and are surprised that there is such an election and wonder who in the hell those people are.Someday our election machines will be able to capture write-ins and tally their meager message.

I think Ruby keeps writing in Joe Herzenberg every election.

In reviewing the 2006 write-ins, I'm absolutely mortified by the lack of consideration shown to Daffy Duck, and the considerable write-in support for Donald Duck.  Why did those people assume that the white duck would be better for the role than the black duck?!?  Where the hell was the NAACD when we needed them?Don't even get me started on Mickey and Donald not being where they are without a strong woman like Minnie and Daisy behind them.  And, of course, they're not represented in the polls, either.

OK, I've analyzed the '06 write in vote for trends -- the one Joe Herzenberg vote was probably by Ruby. The Scott Herman-Giddens vote was likely cast by Joe himself, and do we hold "The Commish" responsible for the vote cast in Carrboro for "Our cats Bronwyn" ?

for maybe 5th place? I'm honored. But who is that Roy Williams guy. If he ran, he'd win in a landslide.

It's not the voters fault that nobody knows what they do, why, or who is doing it. It sounds important. The County needs to make it more visible.Denying write-in candidates is just one more volley in the War on Fun.

I'm curious why the optical scanner is not used to read bubbled letters for write-in candidates, the same way optical scanners have been used to read names on standardized tests for decades now? Is it a limitation of our machines, a policy or logistical issue, or just not something that has been a big enough issue in the past to generate concern? I could see it forcing ballots in some counties onto a second page, which would certainly be a waste of paper, but it seems like it might have worked at least here.Of course, even with a technical solution, I think the real issue here is that there's an elected office on the ballot that a small percentage of people even understand the function of, at least enough to make an informed decision when it is actually contested. But that's a statewide issue that we can't solve for Orange County alone.I'm also curious, now that I think about it, why Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor is the only office on the general election ballot which automatically allows a write-in spot without a petition being filed. Is this because there is no primary for that office? 

Soil conservation supervisor has only been on the general election ballot since 78. Before that it had its own election system. the polls were open for that office at only one place in each county. In orange it was at the old CCF I think on North Greensboro Street. I never bothered to vote. It ought to be appointive

All of the other races require that the write ins be qualified. You have to file with the BOE to have your name considered as a write in for a national, statewide or partisan county election. That's why even though there were write in slots for president and governor, so far there are no counted write ins in O C (Virgil Goode was the only qualified write in for president, and I don't remember the governor candidate). Soil and water was the only race that didn't require pre- qualification. It makes sense if someone is running a legitimate write in campaign, since they can then "claim" the votes in their name. 


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