Local Politics

N.C. primary a success for voters

Posted May 6, 2008 5:20 p.m. EDT
Updated May 6, 2008 7:32 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina voters cast their ballots Tuesday, and the 12,000 voting machines and 20,000 volunteer poll workers across the state performed with few glitches.

State elections director Gary Bartlett said turnout was "steady ... not tremendously heavy" throughout the day.

Polls closed at 7:30 p.m., except for in the town of Oriental in Pamlico County, where a late start means that site will stay open until 8:30 p.m.

Few problems

Voters and poll workers at the Pine Level Fire Station in Johnston County dealt with an unusual delay when a car smashed into the polling place, police said. An 86-year-old woman was pulling in to vote when she stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake, police said.

After a 10-minute delay, the building was deemed structurally sound and voting resumed.

Some voters who turned out at Millbrook Church in Raleigh Tuesday morning found their usual polling place was not in service. The chuch, a polling site for years in the community, is under reconstruction. The polling place was moved across the street.

Record turnout expected

Bartlett anticipated that turnout would set a record after a campaign season in which more than 5.8 million people statewide registered to vote. About 45 percent of registered voters identified themselves as Democrats; 33 percent enrolled as Republicans and 21 percent were unaffiliated with either party.

Unaffiliated voters could choose to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary.

At midday, Candice Mosley was all alone when she cast her ballot at the Pullen Arts Center in Raleigh.

"I was expecting lines all the way out, but there was no lines," she said. "I walked directly in, got my ballot and voted."

"We are hearing from counties that there has been steady voting to a trickle," Bartlett said. He suggested that early, one-stop voting may have cut down on the expected Election Day crowds. Through Monday morning, elections officials had counted 469,445 early ballots, with about 85 percent voting in the Democratic primary.

Programming notes

Coverage and analysis of all the races and results will be available throughout the evening on WRAL.com and on WRAL-TV beginning at 8 p.m.

"NCIS", "Shark" and "CSI: Miami" will be preempted on WRAL in order to air election returns.

* "NCIS" will air Wednesday at 3:30 a.m.
* "Shark" will air Thursday at 3:07 a.m.
* "CSI: Miami" is a repeat and will not be rescheduled.