It's on!

Early voting starts today!  Here's a handy list of locations and hours via the Chapel Hill Herald:

Early voting in Orange County will be available at the following five locations:

- Morehead Planetarium, 250 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill
- Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St., Carrboro
- Orange County Public Library, 300 W. Tryon St., Hillsborough
- Seymour Senior Center, 2551 Homestead Rd., Chapel Hill
- Northern Human Services Center, 5800 NC Hwy 86 North, Hillsborough

Morehead, Carrboro Town Hall and Orange library days, dates and times:
- Thursday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Oct. 20-Oct. 25, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Oct. 27 - 31, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Nov. 1, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Senior center and human services center days, dates and times:
- Thursday-Friday, noon-7 p.m.
- Oct. 20-Oct. 24, noon-7 p.m.
- Oct. 27-Oct. 31, noon-7 p.m.
- Nov. 1, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 

Much more information is available from the Orange County Board of Elections. I could really use some help updating our election and candidate info. Any volunteers want to work with me on that?



I voted shortly before 4pm at the town hall in Carrboro. Looks like they had a good turnout. Happy voting everyone!
Slow but steady at the new site. I was number 41 when I voted there at 2pm, two hours after opening, they had just hit 100 when I left just before closing at 7pm. I heard over 600 voted at the Library.

We voted today right after the Seymour Center opened at noon and my ballot registered as #681. I waited until today because I want to cast my historic ballot on my birthday. So I suspect that I will always remember this date, just as I remember my first presidential vote on November 5, 1968.

Adding to our day was seeing The Express.  As a Syracuse Alum, this additional bit of great historic accomplishment just added to the specialness of the day.

Belated Happy Birthday, Fred!

Something in that movie (The Express) illustrates a reason why there is such a division between the red state small town folks and the Hollywood-types.  I had read elsewhere about how that movie depicted things and that link talks about it too, and in that movie, which is supposed to be a true story, there is an entirely fictional scene painting people in West Virginia at a West Virginia-Syracuse football game as raving racists.

 Imgaine you're in West Virginia and you see Hollywood painting you like this and then later you see Barbara Streisand and Tim Robbins telling you that you should vote Democratic to make the country better.  Various arguments can be made for which policies will make the country better but it's ultimately subjective, whereas whether or not people were raving racists at that football game is not subjective, it's fact.  Imagine how put upon and powerless you'd feel in the face of a giant entity that can do something like that to you anytime it wants.

  That's not to say things like this don't go both ways in the grand political debate.  They do.  But it's just that in any particular area you typically only see one side of that fence represented and I don't see that side represented in this area.

This is one reason Obama is doing well despite so many built in disadvantages.  If you notice you'll see that he bends over backwards to show respect to those whom he disagrees with politically.  Taking the time to understand people whose view differs from your own is a form of showing respect.

By the way, I haven't done a systematic study but it seems to me that we're seeing way less Hollywood stuff in this election.  I suspect that that's not a coincidence.  Obama gets it and realizes such stuff is toxic in the larger picture.
 How does one find out any information on which judge to vote for?
One reads this:
This race is going to be much closer than it appears. To be honest, for a while I had trouble getting excited about this race. Sure her republican opponent seems bad for NC, but it wasn’t until I heard her speaking in a debate about the importance of broad education through 4 year college & universities (as opposed to her republican opponents plan for a strong shift towards vocational education) that I got interested in Perdue’s campaign. She ask who could have predicted a decade or two ago that we would need to train webmasters? She pointed out that’s exactly we need broad education that trains innovation. This makes more sense to me than only teaching a singular job skill that can be shipped overseas. I also hate to think of Obama becoming president and North Carolina being a voice against his initiatives and resistant to change lead by a Bush ally. We can't let that happen. We have to tell our friends & families why they need to vote Perdue.

Listen carefully to what Perdue says about education. She is a vocal opponent of allowing the children of illegal immigrants to attend college and/or community college in NC, even if they pay full tuition. McCrory has the same position. Apparently neither of these "leaders" recognize the benefits to society as a whole when motivated children are properly educated, and conversely the challenge society faces in dealing with poorly educated children throughout their adult lifetimes.

Makes it hard to believe either of our candidates for governor will be progressive leaders in the areas of economics and education.

Terri, I understand your point.  But employers can't legally hire these people after they finish their education.   So, while I understand your concern from a social justice or human rights perspective, or just from the perspective of having bette educated residents---whether legal or not---- I'm stumped about what happens to these young people once they get these educations.   

Terri, I agree with the general point you're making. However, I think technically the candidates oppose allowing students who are themselves illegal immigrants to attend college, not all children whose parents are illegal immigrants. I believe this is the issue addressed in the attorney general's memo in May.

Also, though this isn't directly to Anita's point, most illegal immigrant families with children have only children who are US citizens. So, many children of illegal immigrants can and do work here legally when they reach working age.

Damon--yes this political discussion is about children who are illegal. But I don't see that it matters. Denying any child the opportunity for education is simply wrong.

Anita--they are going to work whether legally or not. They are going to use the hospitals and they are going to drive on the roads. We can either help them grow into responsible adults and citizens or we can pay the price for repressing them. To me, this is as much an economic issue as it is about social justice.



These folks cannot work for any company that complies with state and federal laws about verifying eligibility to work in the US or in any profession that requires a license or certification.   That's just a fact.   They can't work at UNC Hospitals, or Cisco, or SAS, or as a CPA, teacher, nurse, engineer, physcial therapist, or many other professions---unless they provide documentation as required by ICE.   And ICE does come and check your records!  

 Most companies with more than 50 employees are making at least some effort to check documents--although every company is required to by law.    Companies also have to report  every new hire they make.  That's how people get tracked down for child support and back taxes.  

I report to the state every month  the names and social security numbers of every person I hire.  I have to personally examine every employee's  original documents and attest in writing to their validity.      And only certain documents are valid for employment.     I also have to cross check every social security number against the person's name using a licensed agency.  If the name on the picture ID  and the SS  number provided to me don't "match" I have to flag that to the employee and I can't hire them until they get it sorted out--and the onus is on them, not me, to get it corrected and provide proof back to me.      

 I'm not opposed to anyone getting an education, but it still isn't going to translate into better employment if the person does not have proper documents to obtain employment.    

Will they get a job when they graduate?  Yes.  Wether they become a U.S. citizen, work here legally, work here illegally, or work somewhere else, they will get a job.

I don't think we know what the situation will be when they graduate.  Immigration laws change, economies change. Would not getting a proper education while growing up in the U.S. better prepare them for a good job in their home country?  If the point of denying them employment in the U.S. is to encourage them to "go home", who do you think will be more likely to move--a young adult with marketable skills or a drop out?

As I post this I am seated in the living room of a Mexican family in Monterrey Mexico.  Our hosts attended medical school in the U.S., their children's education was partly in the U.S..  They often vacation in the U.S. and shop in the U.S..  They choose to live in Mexico.

It is eye opening to visit here, to see the billboards put up by Texas cities imploring Mexicans to come to the U.S. to spend the money they earned in Mexico, to hear the advertisements for vacations in Las Vegas, to see the Chili's, DQ, 7-Eleven franchises and Chevy dealers here.  A young adult in the U.S. with an education will either get a good job in the U.S. or move somewhere where their skills will be put to use--far better for them and for us than growing up in our community and not getting an education.

Does it serve us well to have our neighbor to the south be an underdeveloped country?  Some U.S. industries seem to enjoy having the cheap and easily exploitable labor pool.  Other U.S. industries seem to enjoy the opportunity to pollute and avoid the burden of providing workplace safety.  These industries are harmful to Mexico and harmful to us.

If the point of out-of-state tuition is to benefit the state by educating residents, immigrants should qualify regardless of status.

If the point of out-of-state tuition is to give a discount to state citizens because they pay state taxes: illegals pay state taxes, so they should qualify.  If they are working for cash and not paying income tax, they still pay sales tax.  When anybody avoids income tax as an employee, the employer is complicit and is actually creating the pressure and opportunity to avoid taxes.  A better test would be income tax filings, not immigration status.

Whatever the problem, making people into contraband is not a solution.

I think we get a very distorted picture of reality by viewing things from only one side.  Getting a larger view makes the absurdity of denying education to any children living in our community apparent.

Orange Dem Rep Una+Lib Total
Same Day Registrants 527 144 623 1294
Early Voting (as of 10/18)
6448 1050 2000 9498
Early Voting% 68% 11% 21%  
Registered (as of 10/18) 54890 19568 28869 103327
Early TO% 12% 5% 7% 9%

(apologies to mods for posting this anonymously first time round): My husband voted Saturday and I voted this morning, and the turn out looks great -- not that I had to wait very long, but things looked busy and everyone looked optimistic. Refreshing after such a long wait, and encouraging that turn out is so good so early in the game.
Orange Dem Rep Una+Lib Total
Same Day Registrants 966 339 1065 2370
Early Voting 19446 3674 7136 30256
Early Voting by Party% 64% 12% 24%  
Registered (as of 10/25) 55329 19763 29311 104403
Early TO% 35% 19% 24% 29%

2004 Orange turnout

OneStop Early 30,242

Mail-in               2,751

Election day    32134

TOTAL        65,127



2008 mailins

                     issued   returned  % of returned ballots

                                                          D         R       U

CIVILIAN*       3794            1593        53.2%  25.0%   21.7%

MILITARY**          91               30       26.7%  46.7%   26.7%

OVERSEAS **     216            110        50.9%     3.6%   45.5%

 looks like GOP expats are few and far between!



* Request deadline 10/28, return deadline 11/3

** Request deadline 11/3, return deadline 11/4


Orange Dem Rep Una+Lib Total
Same Day Registrants 1194 456 1214 2864
Early Voting 32329 7889 13966 54184
Early Voting by Party% 60% 15% 26%
Registered (as of 11/1) 55557 19880 29460 104897
Early TO% 58% 40% 47% 52%

While I was at it, I thought I'd also tabulate the statewide numbers...fixed now (I think).

Statewide Totals (1,000s) Dem
Same Day Registrants 93.2 28.2 1.4 43.2 122.8
Early Voting 1,325.6 774.3 1.6 472.4 2,573.9
Early Voting by Party% 52% 30% 0% 18%
Registered (as of 11/1) 2,850.0 1,994.5 3.4 1,385.5 4,847.8
Early TO% 47% 39% 47% 34% 43%


This is for both One-Stop and Absentee where the ballot has been classified as "Ok" (same for Orange numbers above).



I voted on Wednesday at the Senior Center and have never seen so many children at a voting center. My boys wanted to come so I brought them along and they met many of their friends and school mates there. I am  excited that our kids are so pumped up about this election. 

Then there's the one about John McCain going into the voting booth and taking a leak. 

But they don't have curtains any more.  The curtains were rigged to re-set the voting machines mechanically.  Now we slide our ballots into a scanner/counter and hope we did a good job of coloring in the circles.  


I went to the Planetarium first and they said there was a half hour or longer wait to vote, and the parking was reserved and not available for voters.  Rather than go to a pay deck, I drove on down to Carrboro Town Hall, parked very close to the building, walked right in, was greeted by the friendly volunteers inside who made it a very easy process, had virtually no line, got my I voted sticker, and was out of there.

Could the hours for these sites be less-conducive to those who work for a living?

Morehead, Carrboro Town Hall and Orange library days, dates and times:
- Thursday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Oct. 20-Oct. 25, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Oct. 27 - 31, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Nov. 1, 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

David Beck

Looking at the coming week's early voting hours, I can only suppose the BOE is hunkering down for the Big One.  I agree with David's point about inconvenience, and strongly recommend Carrboro Town Hall for lunch-hour voters who can't get to work late or leave early.  One can only imagine the administrative housekeeping from over a million ballots cast this far in advance.  We think they simply press a button at the end, but that's not the case. 

One item in this morning's paper re absentee ballots is a bit troubling.  Too many got lost four years ago.  

Catherine, do you recall which paper had the article about missing absentee ballots? Thanks. 

9616 this morning at Carrboro Town Hall with no waiting.

My friend and I voted as witches.

My favorite attire was the poll worker in full colonial garb. 


minister was warning against!

Not very well publicized, but significant:  Early voting has been extended by four hours in certain NC counties, ending at 5:00 instead of 1:00 tomorrow (Saturday).  This was announced on WUNC during wake-up time today.  I'm pretty sure I heard right. 
 No extension in Orange County.  Sorry for the false alarm.  - c. 

I was about 16296 at Morehead around noon today (or at least that's the number I recall seeing).  Granted, substantial wait to be expected (about half hour wait, line went out of the voting area, out a hallway, into a common room, down a winding staircase, into the lobby, and just about out the door).  The wait had abated by the time I got out (the line now ended on the stairs).

The markings on my ballot were "MP 135 2989" (the 135 is the FIPS code for Orange County, and I'm guessing 2989 was the ballot sequence number).  Given the surprise from the pollworker of pulling the ballot style (#3 with House District 54), very few people in the south part of the county are voting at Morehead.

There were only a few people I saw who were doing the same day registrations; the vast majority were previously registered. 

I did notice 1 poll watcher who seemed to have a copious amount of notes taken in her notebook (she was near the same day registration area).

There was the tendency I saw of people to try to feed their ballot in the ballot feeder and walk out the door before making sure it had gone through.  I saw one ballot kicked back a couple times, and the person had nearly walked out the door.  Given the huge foot traffic and fire marshall considerations, there are only so many ways that it can be safely configured, but maybe station a worker next to the vote machine to make everything goes well.

Maybe it's a sense of nostalgia (I'm probably too young for nostalgia), but I do kind of like voting on Election Day itself (plus it gives me more time to procrastinate researching).  Nevertheless, it's safer to get it out of the way because (as I work in IT) I never know when an emergency might keep me at work all day.

The Morehead Planetarium staff shrewdly set out promotional materials to leverage the massive foot traffic into coming back.  I know it's probably going to work with me at some point....

Patrick King

Joan, the absentee voting bit appeared in the N&O a couple of days ago, deep in the recycling pile so I can't retrieve it easily.  A mention, not a headline.  Gerry C. might have better information.  - c. 
The one on the 27th that I remember was discussing the problem with military absentee ballots not being counted for a variety of reasons/problems.

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