[AP] NORTH CAROLINA
Early voting opened Thursday and drew some 214,000 voters to the polls in the first two days, leading to hours-long lines in parts of the state and lengthy schedules for poll workers.
In the first few days, the balloting clearly favored Democrats, with those registered with the party making up 62 percent of those who had voted. Only 22 percent of the voters had been registered Republicans.
North Carolina has 15 electoral votes.
HOLY SHIT UPDATE: Well, THIS is not good news...
NC is one of two states in the country where straight ticket voting does not count for President. This unusual exception trips up tens of thousands of voters every 4 years.
North Carolina lost 92,000 votes for President in 2004 due to straight ticket confusion. Our state has one of the highest undervote rates for President in the Country because of this.
Voters have very little reason to know about this exception, since it is not intuitive, and it was not even mentioned in the 3 million + voter guides mailed to households all over North Carolina.
What fucking genius came up with that shit? (Answer: probably a Republican) I can only hope that this is pant-soiling news to me since I am new to North Carolina—the only reason I know about this is the Obama campaign sent a mailer to my house yesterday.
Here's my double-edged take on this: Hundreds of thousands of new voters have registered in NC—most of them Dems. Hopefully the fact that they are so motivated to cast a vote for Obama means that they zero right in on that choice and don't miss it. On the other hand, they are all first-time voters, so the likelihood of confusion or error with the ballot is high.
UPDATE 2— Double-fuck:
My mother has been working the polls in North Carolina for early voting [...] she says that in the last few days alone, she has personally seen at least 200 votes intended to go to Obama that were not being counted (in other words, people telling her how excited they are to see Obama elected, only to find out that by selecting the straight democratic line, they never even cast a vote for him).
Smitty, Bob—hold each other.
UPDATE 3—BETTER NEWS: If that shit has you down, this should help...
I squeaked in just before the 7pm deadline to find two very frustrated poll workers and a line of a couple dozen people, due to problems with the computerized voting system not accepting people's driver's licenses. It was taking about 7-10 minutes per person just to get the computer to accept them as valid and to print out their ballot, causing very long delays.
For me the most moving moment came when the family in front of me, comprising probably 4 generations of voters (including an 18 year old girl voting for her first time and a 90-something hunched-over grandmother), got their turn to vote. When the old woman left the voting booth she made it about halfway to the door before collapsing in a nearby chair, where she began weeping uncontrollably. When we rushed over to help we realized that she wasn't in trouble at all but she had not truly believed, until she left the booth, that she would ever live long enough to cast a vote for an African-American for president. Anyone who doesn't think that African-American turnout will absolutely SHATTER every existing record is in for a very rude surprise.
There were about 20 people in front of me but remarkably not a single person left the room without voting over the 2 hours it took to get through the line.