Local Politics

In Triangle, few snafus hinder voting

Posted November 4, 2008
Updated October 12, 2011

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— Thousands of North Carolina voters eased through the voting process Tuesday, officials said. Gary Bartlett, director of the state Board of Elections, said that for the most part, Election Day proceeded as planned.

"We have probably received the fewest number of calls in this office during my tenure," he said. Bartlett has been in the job for 16 years.

"The 2.6 million who voted during the absentee period have taken a lot of pressure (off) the infastructure of our elections," Bartlett added.

Only one polling place encountered a problem big enough to warrant extending voting hours.

At the Barwell Road Community Center in Raleigh, about 300 voters had to wait for ballots after an election judge saw her grandson drive away with them in his car. The delay lasted about 30 minutes.

The Wake County Board of Elections met Tuesday afternoon and extended the hours at that site until 8:30 p.m.

"We all agreed it was the safest route to go. Our goal has always been to make voting as easy and accessible as possible," said Cherie Poucher, director of the Wake County Board of Elections.

She noted that at least two people who left after the ballot confusion returned to vote later in the day.

In Durham, county Board of Elections staff voted to extend the hours at Pearsontown Elementary School until 7:50 p.m. after a nearby car crash knocked out power to the site for about 30 minutes Tuesday morning. The State Board of Elections overturned that decision, and the site closed at 7:30 p.m. as scheduled.

Poll workers cited a combination of inclement weather and record early voting for the lack of lines on Election Day. Bartlett backed off his earlier prediction that 2 million voters would cast ballots statewide on Election Day.

Poucher said the rain was causing the greatest problem.

Scanners were not accepting completed ballots at polling sites in Cameron Village, Cary and on Litchford Road, but Poucher pointed out that a malfunction like that did not impede anyone from voting.

Poucher suggested that voters, wet from the rain, were dripping on ballots, making them wet and harder to handle. She asked voters to dry their hands and be careful not to leave a wet sleeve on their ballots.

Completed ballots were still being collected, and would be scanned when machines were back on line, she said.

Cumberland County elections director Terri Robertson said damp ballots jammed vote-counting machines at some precincts in and around Fayetteville. Officials called all polling sites and told workers to hand out paper towels to voters to dry their hands before handing out ballots, she said.

Even during the lunch hour, polling places were not overly crowded. In most cases, the voting process worked smoothly.

One e-mail to WRAL.com said:

"I just wanted to let you know that my husband voted at Millbrook Elementary School (in Raleigh) this morning. It took him a total of 15 minutes to drive there, vote and drive home," she wrote. "There was no wait at all. I wonder if the early voting lines helped for today or were we all duped into believing we would have to wait 4 to 5 hours if we didn't vote early?"

In Wake County, there are about 175,000 more registered voters than for the 2004 election. To accommodate the surge in voters, the county has added 25 polling places.

Gary Sims, deputy director of the Wake County Board of Elections, predicted 200,000 people would cast ballots at county’s 198 polling places.

178 Comments

This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • ConcernedNCC Nov 5, 2008

    I can't believe it, they put that certain word in the headlines and won't allow it in a comment. How's that for editing? I guess some know what it means but some like the writer don't.

  • 2up2down Nov 4, 2008

    Quote of the Day " Why would you vote for someone who looks like he is going to die, versus someone who is trying to get us paid"

  • Adelinthe Nov 4, 2008

    "At the Barwell Road Community Center in Raleigh, about 300 voters had to wait for ballots after an election judge saw her grandson drive away with them in his car. The delay lasted about 30 minutes."

    Yep! Wake County, NC made the national news with this one.

    Could happen to anyone though.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • nikkyrelay Nov 4, 2008

    You conservatives or "so-called" Christian Right people must be crying because you can't stand the thought of "hope"; "peace"; "unity"; "prosperity"; "humanity"; "people helping people" (starting with Americans helping Americans), etc. I noticed I have not heard one "so-called" Conservative crying about the hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars we've wasted in Iraq; or the fact that in spite of their "$80 BILLION" surplus; their only "thanks" to us has been to ask us to "leave by 2011". Money well spent--I guess. You ONLY cry when someone in this country might benefit from OUR TAX DOLLARS! If you're going to "cry", cry about the hundreds of billions we've wasted in Iraq.

  • nikkyrelay Nov 4, 2008

    Didn't the Bush/McCain/Republican Administration "redistribute" some "wealth" by giving back tax money to individuals as an incentive to "spend" and thereby "boost" the economy? Didn't the Bush/McCain/Republican Administration policies make it necessary to practice "socialism" by buying private owned companies and banks and propping up Wall Street (saving the rich) at our expense (NOT to mention the hundreds of billions of OUR TAX DOLLARS they've wasted PROPPING UP the government of Iraq)? So what's the problem and why are these "so-called" Conservatives still crying?

  • Boot-the-DC-Tyrant Nov 4, 2008

    They must not have enough liberal voters yet. I bet everyone will extend their hours to get them in there!

  • godsanity Nov 4, 2008

    Need or "Demand" comes about; NOT because people have a "desire" for products or services--but they acutually have the capital or money (hence "demand") to take a product off the market (buy a product or service). So having a "poor and middle class" friendly tax structure will put the MONEY where it will drive growth. Give big corporations a tax break and only an idiot can assume that they are going to "expand"; create more jobs and spend money on their employees! IT AIN'T GOING TO HAPPEN--unless, the middle class and poor people (of whom the majority of us belong) have the financial resources to create "demand" (i.e.; buy goods and services). NO CORPORATION "EXPANDS" OR GROWS simply because they get a tax break!
    Sound bites, fear, lies, hate and attacks is ALL the McCain/Palin ticket and supporters have to offer. So "hate on". The rest of us will be busy rebuilding the economy and nation that the 8yrs of destruction your hate and fear policies tore down.

  • godsanity Nov 4, 2008

    Quit crying. Darn, you "Republican Conservatives" (who spent 8yrs of running our national deficit up to over $500 BILLION and our national debt to over $11 TRILLION) should be the LAST ones who can claim to know ANYTHING about the budget, taxes or the state of the economy. Crying about "businesses won't expand or hire because Obama will raise taxes for everyone who makes more than $250,000 annually and thus "prevent" businesses from growing or doing business in the U.S." is just a Republican "fear" soundbite. You FAIL to mention that middle class and poor folks (like many of you) are going to get a tax break or more money back to spend on "goods & services". In my better than 20 plus years of working in Corporate America and having earned a degree in Economics-I have YET to see a business who "expanded because of tax breaks or for the "good of the economy or country".BUSINESSES EXPAND AND HIRE-NOT OUT OF LOVE OR LOYALTY TO America--BUT because people are BUYING MORE PRODUCTS (NEED).

  • davidgnews Nov 4, 2008

    Those of you worried about the Obama the socialist need to stop and think about how many billions of dollars have been given to private corporations over the last eight years. That wasn't socialism?

    They seem to be ok with that, since they always want it both ways. Bill LuMaye was going off endlessly today with all of that socialism/fascism stuff, just overboard, like it's something new. Someone needs to smack him upside the head and remind him it's been going on for years. Guess he was ok with the Wall St. welfare plan, too.

  • jellybiscuit Nov 4, 2008

    "IF THE GOV WOULD REQURIE A DRUG TEST TO EVERY ONE ON WELFARE AND FAILED THE TEST THEIR CHECK WOULD BE CUT OUT WE WOULD SAVE A LOT OF $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$"

    ---

    Great! And while we're at it, a drug test to get your drivers license, or use a hospital, or send your kid to a public school. You'd be surprised at how many moms were missing from the next PTA meeting... or does your cabinet full of pills (subsidized by everyone else) not count?

    Wake up and look beyond your stereotypes.

More...