Early Voting

I voted at the Planetarium (2d floor this time) at about 12:30 pm and I was voter 235. There were 12-15 people waiting in line and another 8 to 10 completing their ballots. I saw two people who were registering. Best of all --- most of the voters that I saw fit the college-age demographic!

I don't think I've ever seen this many folks on the first half day! Also, there was plenty of excitement outside with the various campaigns represented. The Obama group had lots of folks working and I saw Kevin Wolff (R) out there campaigning for his wife (D)!




If you go to http://www.sboe.state.nc.us/ and look in the right pane, you will see a nearly realtime statewide early voting tracker, for instance at 4:02 pm:

Abentee Counts as of 04/17/2008 3:30pm

Absentee By Mail Ballots Returned: 5,466

Absentee Onestop Ballots Cast: 9,501

to see how the election day statistics compare to the early voting statistics. As of Thursday the 24th it looks like about 10 to 1 Dems/Repubs voting early.

Cheers, K

I was voter number 603 this afternoon at Morehead Planetarium at about twenty after four. The sheer number of folks out there campaigning was astonishing. I saw Mary Wolff and her son, some folks from the OCDP, and what was practically a lawn party being thrown by the Obama campaign. The Clinton campaign had quite a few signs out too, and several of her supporters were lined up in a row holding signs in a way that to me looked almost like they were protesting how much fun the Obama folks were having. There was also what appeared to be the remnants of what I'm assuming was some free food, but I neglected to investigate further.
I did voter greeting for OCDP at Town Hall today -- brought a book and had no time to open it! Every voter was excited about the upcoming Obama rally. I loved being able to point "right over there" and hand out copies of Carrboro Citizen with the front page headline. Other pollsters reported same as Fred and Jason that things were very lively at Morehead Planetarium. Anyone who's in a real hurry can vote early at Carrboro Town Hall between now and May 3rd. Parking is easy and the company's fine!

who knows what could happen?


I don't get what's up with the Wolffs - they're running for the same seat, but in different parties. So if she wins, they run against each other (and I bet she'll drop out, you wait!) and if she doesn't, he gets to use her signs, since they don't have their first names on them. Someone go ask one of them, ok? (I'd love to, but I'm on Duke's campus all day for work).


Except for their unisex yard signs, the Wolffs are not bothering to campaign. So why bother to ask them which one wants the seat? It bugs me greatly when people file for election with no clear desire to win.
My roommate is camping out in South Building to protest UNC's lack of a sweatshop policy, so on the way to visit him I stopped by early voting again to see how things are going. The voting has slowed a bit, and was under 800 when I checked. Moses Carey, the Dellinger campaign, Mary Wolff, OCDP, and the Obama camp all had folks out there, and I'm sure there were more I missed in the circus. The Wolffs have a new sign, even more of a joint effort than the last, that I thought I would share, along with another photo. Now we have FOUR Wolffs that we might consider.


Wow, which of the four? Early Voting Circus
I just got a call from a reporter from the Daily Tar Heel asking if there were any legal issues with either the old Wolff sign or the new sign with both Wolves on it.  I told him that the expenses would have to be properly allocated in the campaign finance reports of the two candidates, if they are over the threshold to file.  He asked me if the signs gave them an "unfair advantage". I told him that it obviously was getting them a lot of free publicity, which was an advantage, but there was nothing "unfair" about it.


That is some ruthless efficiency!

The State Board of Elections has lots of files on its website (all available to the public). There is a daily absentee ballot file that one can import into Excel and sort -- here is what I got: 

statewide early voting first three days: 32,086 (five counties had voting on Saturday).

Orange County:

967 Democrats voting

 92 Republicans voting

270 Unaffiliated voters choosing Democratic ballot

  9 Unaffiliated voters choosing Republican ballot

  8 Unaffiliated voters choosing an unaffiliated ballot (nonpartisan and transfer tax)

1346 TOTAL

Under the Dome has just posted on the huge surge in one stop early voting statewide:

"One-stop voting is rivaling turnout for a general election. According to statistics compiled by the State Board of Elections at the request of Dome, the five-day total of ballots cast at one-stop sites is 45,429. That's slightly less than the 57,250 for the five-day period between Oct. 19-23, 2006. But that was a general election. By comparison, the 2006 primary saw just 7,688 votes cast at one-stop sites between April 13-17. Put another way: One-stop voting turnout so far is six times what it was at a comparable point in the last primary."

 The spreadsheet they posted shows an even bigger jump in Orange for onestops in the first five days (Thurs-Monday):

2006 primary: 36

2006 general: 500

2008 primary: 2173

Orange with 2,173 is the 4th highest in the state, with Cumberland leading at 2,851 and Buncombe and Durham also higher than Orange. Orange is 60 times the 2006 primary turnout, compared to the state average six-fold increase.

Just think what might happen if general elections were held over a weekend or if the Tuesday election was a holiday!

Total Early Votes statewide as of Tuesday: 72896

Total in Orange County: 2828

Democrats 2044

Republicans 199

Unaff casting Dem ballot 536

Unaff casting Repub ballot 23

Unaff casting nonpartisan ballot 26

Top precincts:

Mason Farm 214

Country Club 188

East Franklin 180

Lincoln 109

Patterson 101

Total Early Votes statewide as of Thursday close: 99016

Total in Orange County: 4738

Democrats 3365

Republicans 322

Unaff casting Dem ballot 963

Unaff casting Repub ballot 43

Unaff casting nonpartisan ballot 34

Top 5 precincts:

Mason Farm 311

Country Club 284

East Franklin 235

Patterson 188

Lincoln 173


excerpts below, numbers are as of Friday

CHAPEL HILL -- Nearly 6,500 people have taken advantage of early, one-stop voting in Orange County since the four early-voting sites opened on April 17.  ... The busiest site has been at the Morehead Planetarium, located on the UNC campus. Although it wasn't convenient to park near the planetarium, many students walked to the site to pick up free tickets for the Obama events and to vote. Three thousand, five hundred and fifteen people have voted at the site since April 17, including 850 who stopped by on Friday, said Orange County Board of Elections Director Tracy Reams.

"I know the first day I was there, in and out, it was 85 to 90 percent students," she said. "We had 650 the first day."

The Carrboro Town Hall has had 1,359 voters since April 17, Reams said.

Trish Verne, chief judge at the Carrboro site, said on Friday that nearly 100 people had voted in the first two hours the site was open Friday. Early voting has become popular for many reasons, she said...

Total Early Votes statewide as of Monday close: 164286

Total in Orange County: 7389

Democrats 5305

Republicans 475

Unaff casting Dem ballot 1516

Unaff casting Repub ballot 51

Unaff casting nonpartisan ballot 42

Top 8 precincts:

Mason Farm 491

Country Club 425

East Franklin 346

Patterson 300

Colonial Heights 261

N. Carrboro 242

Weaver Dairy 236

Lincoln 236


388 mail-in absentee ballots have also been received

Orange County had 1,106 more one stop early votes cast Tuesday, bringing the total to 8,495. Statewide there were 46,000+/- new early votes yesterday, for a statewide total of 212,287.

Total Early Votes statewide as of Monday close: 261,505 (48,800 new on Wednesday)

Total in Orange County: 10,071 (1,576 new on Wednesday)

Democrats 7308

Republicans 627

Unaff casting Dem ballot 2017

Unaff casting Repub ballot 69

Unaff casting nonpartisan ballot 50

Top 10 precincts:

Mason Farm 546

Country Club 498

Patterson 458

East Franklin 407

N Carrboro 350

Weaver Dairy 343

Colonial Heights 331

Hogan Farms, St. Johns, Town Hall, each 290


417 mail-in absentee ballots have been received. 524 mail-in ballots are still outstanding (deadline for receipt Monday 5 pm)

Total Early Votes statewide as of Monday close: 320840 (59,335 new on Wednesday, new daily high)

Total in Orange County: 11,781 (1,730 new on Thursday, new daily high)

Democrats 8563

Republicans 730

Unaff casting Dem ballot 2394

Unaff casting Repub ballot 72

Unaff casting nonpartisan ballot 52

REMINDER of early voting sites:

Orange County Public Library Conference Room, 300 W. Tryon St, Hillsborough; Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St, Carrboro; Morehead Planetarium, 250 E. Franklin St, Chapel Hill: Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-1.

Robert and Pearl Seymour Senior Center, 2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill : Saturday 9-1. This site NOT open Friday, May 2.

 You must be in line by the closing hour in order to vote at that site. 



Do you have the numbers for early voting at each site?  I'm particularly

interested in the Seymour Center and Hillsoborough.


sorry Joe, I'm using a state database. The Orange BoE should have the numbers per site.

So I walk a mile and a half to the Morehead Planetarium to vote early and I get there at 2:45 and I discover early voting closed at 1.  Yeah, I guess I should have checked this site to see the hours but I just assumed it'd be open on Saturday afternoon.


It seems it's open 9-5 Monday thru Friday and 9-1 on Saturday.  Shouldn't the hours be longer on Saturday instead of shorter?  I mean, Monday thru Friday is when most people have to work and don't have time to vote.  It ought to be open 8 am to 8 pm both Saturday and Sunday.  I doubt I'll be able get to my polling place on Tuesday so I guess I just won't get to vote.


So the question I now have is, is there early voting in November too or just in May?

yes, there will be early voting in October and November. Counties were required to have voting today only until 1 pm, but under local option they could stay open until as late as 5 pm today. Only three counties did that -- Rutherford (2 pm), Chatham (3 pm), and Onslow (5 pm). 30 or so counties were open LAST weekend, Orange was not one of them. Three counties even had voting last SUNDAY (Wake, Forsyth, and Person). I think most counties had no idea what the level of interest would be when they set their early voting hours for the primary.

Total Early Votes statewide as of Friday close: 399,515 (82,000 +/- Friday, new daily high)

Total in Orange County: 14,207 as of Fri (2,625 new on Friday, new daily high)

Democrats 10295 72.5%

Republicans 864    6.1%

Unaff casting Dem ballot 2885 20.3%

Unaff casting Repub ballot 106 0.7%

Unaff casting nonpartisan ballot 56 0.6%


other county totals as of Friday: Durham 17,797; Mecklenburg 36,501

I worked the Hillsborough Library site for Leo Allison, District 2 BOCC candidate today and it was busy from 9 until noon and then it started slacking off. I'm not sure how many voted, but it was taking about 1/2 hour for voters to get through the line from about 10 until noon. Very few Republicans, even up here.
Praise is due to the BOE officials who staffed the early voting spots every weekday and on Saturdays during their published hours 9 to 1.  They've been terrific.  Several car-side voting requests got served on my voter-greeting watches at Carrboro Town Hall.  I noticed that the EZ Rider drivers made these requests on behalf of their passengers. 

For you numbers junkies: 

Total early votes statewide: 466,396

Total Orange County early votes: 17,243 (3,036 Saturday, new high)

 detailed breakout for Orange, first table by party of the voter (showing which primary the voter cast ballots in), second table showing the party primary the votes were cast in, the third table showing which party unaffiliated voters vote in

 U in D means unaffiliated voter voted in Democratic Primary

 U in R means unaffiliated voter voted in Republican Primary

U in U means unaffiliated voter did not vote in either party primary but asked for nonpartisan ballot (judges, land transfer tax, OC school board)


U in D350620.3%
U in R1320.8%
U in U690.4%
DEM PRIMARY1598492.7%

Early votes top 20 precincts (Final)

Patterson     879

Mason Farm*  718

Country Club* 642

North Carrboro 635

Weaver Dairy  596

Hogan Farms 585

St. John 576

East Franklin* 535

Estes Hills  505

Lions Club 497

Orange Grove 494

Town Hall 492

Grady Brown 459

OWASA  443

Dogwood Acres 427

Northside 425

Greenwood* 420

Lincoln* 416

Kings Mill 415

Carrboro 408

* includes campus dorms

Here's the same list but showing the percentage of all registered voters who voted early:




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