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Voters Defy Pollsters, and Turn Out Despite Rain

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WAKE COUNTY — Rain greeted many early risers, but the weather didn't stop them from doing their civic duty. They lined up to vote inside North Raleigh precincts, and in polling places across the state.

"We've had about 260 voters," Susan Aycock, a precinct judge, said at mid-day. "We've had a steady stream all morning, and I think it's looking very good for a good turnout, at least in our precinct." By noon, 800 people cast their ballots at San Raphael's.

Wake County election officials say voter turnout seems high. They may have a lot of provisional ballots to contend with because of all the precinct changes.

Some voters left home later to miss the early crowd. Voter Marshall Lamb said, "because a lot of people have already gone to work, I purposely stayed in a little bit longer to try to get to the voting booths when I knew people were getting to work, so there wouldn't be a long line."

A power outage around 9 a.m. Tuesday plunged voters into darkness at the Eastgate Community Center. The power was restored by noon.

The candidates found time to vote, too.

Senator Lauch Faircloth drove to his hometown of Clinton to vote this morning. Faircloth was greeted by supporters and family friends.

Faircloth says he's not nervous. He expects the race to be close, and believes voter turnout will be the key to victory.

"It's going to be very important, it's going to be the issue," Faircloth said. "Our people are turning out. They're excited, we've talked to them, and everybody seems ready to go."

Faircloth says he will spend the day visiting precincts.

The Republican says he made the right decision by not debating challenger John Edwards. He says his time was better spent travelling across the state.

Faircloth's challenger, John Edwards, headed to the polls at Root Elementary School in Raleigh this morning.

Edwards feels his campaign has momentum coming in to election day.

He says he wouldn't change anything about the way he handled his campaign, but thinks a debate was a missed opportunity.

"I think that's something we should have done," Edwards said Tuesday morning. "I proposed it in the summer. Unfortunately, it didn't happen, but we did the best we could. But I think voters are entitled to more information than they can get through 30-second TV ads."

Edwards says voter turnout is important. He also predicts the use of negative ads by the Faircloth campaign will backfire at the polls.