I've been grabbing the raw Absentee and One Stop voting data every
day for the last week or so (I am doing it for the Orange County
Democratic Party). Here are my final counts from the raw data
downloaded from the SBOE site this morning at 6:09 am Sunday.
Here's the Orange County early voting data through Saturday, the
last day of early voting (there may be more absentee ballots received):
Have you noticed how many more slick campaign mailers you have been getting? There's a noticeable change in the last few election cycles. I know that elections generally get more expensive over time, but I'm concerned that the increased use of conventional political consultants is making our local campaigns more expensive and less grassroots. This can't be good for promoting civic engagement, and might even lead to less honesty in campaigns. I could go on, but I'll just say that I'm not happy about the impact of some of these paid consultants on our local races.
The 2000 election was a scandal or, perhaps more accurately, a crime of historic proportions. According to investigative reporter Greg Palast, fully half of the rejected ballots that year, about a million in total, were cast by African Americans. This despite the fact that blacks comprise only 12 percent of the U.S. population.
Like many of you, I have been so wrapped up in the presidential horse race, it's been hard to pay attention to local issues lately. But lest these stories fall entirely through the cracks, here are a few notable news items from this week:
CHN 10/26/04: County sees increase in voter rolls
Due to overdue list cleanup, there are only 665 more voters registered in Orange County than we had in 2000, but there are 2,493 more voters registered as unaffiliated.
I know a lot of you will be volunteering in various electoral capacities on Tuesday, we'll have an open thread for you to post your reports of what's going on around town. We'll also post any news updates we get from the local Board of Elections there. That thread will open along with the polling places at 6:30 am.
And after the polls close (7:30 pm) The Town of Carrboro has invited us to come watch the returns. As usual, Carrboro is the place to be!
Two free events this weekend that readers want you to know about: the Really Really Free Market on Saturday in Carrboro, and 'artist-activist' Alix Olsen on campus Friday night.
From Vinci Daro:
In case you haven't heard, the Really Really Free Market is this Saturday, Oct 30th from 1-5 in the Carrboro Town Commons, after the Farmers Market. It will be fun fun fun; please spread the word and bring your friends, something or someskill or someservice or somemusic or somestories to share, or just come and get something for free... Press release below.
The Chapel Hill News is replacing long-time editor and publisher Ted Vaden with Brenda Larson ("business development analyst for The News & Observer's community newspapers") who will also act as the publisher of the Cary News. The loss of Vaden is bad in itself, but replacing him with someone who is not from Chapel Hill and won't be focused on Chapel Hill sounds like a disaster to me. I hope I'm wrong!