State News

Turnout light for local elections

Posted October 6, 2009

Voting

— Turnout was light Tuesday as voters in 26 North Carolina counties cast ballots to elect local leaders or winnow down fields of candidates for mayor and city council.

About 90 primary and general election races were held, stretching from Atlantic Beach in the east to Asheville in the west.

In Wake County, elections were held for Raleigh mayor and City Council, Cary Town Council and the county Board of Education. Elections in all other Wake County towns won't be held until Nov. 3.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker is seeking a fifth term as mayor of North Carolina's capital city against three other candidates. Political newcomers Mark Enloe, Larry Hudson and Gregg Kunz are trying to unseat Meeker and change course in Raleigh. Six seats on the City Council are also contested.

Four seats also are up on the Wake County school board, following a passionate campaign between supporters and opponents of the district's student assignment policies.

Elections officials said turnout would likely be between 10 and 20 percent of registered voters.

"Most of the calls from our precincts, the officials are saying (turnout is) moderately slow (or) it's slow," said Cherie Poucher, director of the Wake County Board of Elections. "We're just hopeful that, as the day goes on (and) people are coming home from work, they're going to stop on their way home."

Greg Tart, who voted at Stough Elementary School, said local elections are important in people's everyday lives.

"This is what really affects my household and my kids," Tart said. "It's more important to me. That's the stuff where we've got to make sure we put our voice in.

"When you want to make your voice heard, one vote counts," he said.

Wake County races are general elections, not primaries. The candidate receiving a majority of the votes cast wins. A majority is defined as half, plus at least one of the votes cast.

If no candidate takes a majority of the votes cast for a particular seat, the candidate winning the most votes is declared the winner unless the candidate receiving the second-highest number of votes requests a runoff. Any runoff election would be held on Nov. 3, and the winner of the runoff wins the seat.

Races in Cumberland and Durham Counties are primaries, narrowing the field of candidates for the general election on Nov. 3.

Fayetteville mayor Tony Chavonne has four challengers: Ronnie Peele, Charles Ragan, Eronomy Smith and Bob White. There are also primaries in Fayetteville City Council Districts 2, 4 and 6.

113 Comments

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  • larieke Oct 6, 2009

    time4real, congratulations. It looks like our discussion here made a difference.

  • time4real Oct 6, 2009

    Go Book Whisperer!

  • TheBellTollsForThee Oct 6, 2009

    I voted at 7 a.m. this morning, and I took my daughter with me to see how the process goes. There were 11 votes at that time. Voting is until 7:30 p.m. so election results are not in yet. Go Malone!

  • time4real Oct 6, 2009

    Good luck this evening Malone, Goldman, Pr*ckett and Tedesco!

    We have worked VERY, VERY hard for your election and we are praying that the "tide has changed" in this county!

  • lkanzig Oct 6, 2009

    gee! could the low turn out be because of the public is tired of being messed over by these crooks?

  • larieke Oct 6, 2009

    Why would anyone ever check off a second choice, or in some cases a multiple choice? That only deminishes your first choice.

  • NeverSurrender Oct 6, 2009

    "But still want someone in the know to answer my other question about why we have these elections on Non-standard election days. If they want a decent turnout, have ALL elections, other than Primaries, on the first Tuesday in November. What is the logic behind this?"

    ---

    Because we really don't have an instant-runoff system in place (the People's Republic of Cary experimented with one) where you mark your first and second choices and the second vote is used to break the deadlock in case there is no clear majority winner.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 6, 2009

    OK. Someone is playing games with me. I now see the Election Results link on the homepage. Its one of the smaller links below this article's Headline.

    But still want someone in the know to answer my other question about why we have these elections on Non-standard election days. If they want a decent turnout, have ALL elections, other than Primaries, on the first Tuesday in November. What is the logic behind this?

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 6, 2009

    Also, will someone give me a "logical" answer as to why we have these elections at a STUPID time, instead of the first Tuesday in November? I would understand if it was a Primary. You have to have a Primary before the main election to narrow the field. But why have "real" elections on ANY date other than the first Tuesday in November. What is the logic. Be nice and give me a logical reason. I really want to know the REAL reason they do this.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 6, 2009

    Am I overlooking something? Where do we see election results. Normally, for a November election, you can see election resultys on WRAL's homepage. Am I missing the link somewhere?

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