President, straight ticket separated
Voting a straight ticket in North Carolina can be confusing.
Justin Moore, a Duke University computer science graduate now working for Google, analyzed the state's election results in 2000 and 2004. He found that between 2.5 and 3 percent of ballots did not include a vote for president.
That's because voters who want to cast a straight-ticket ballot must cast their vote for president separately.
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The decades-old law was put into place by state Democrats to protect themselves from N.C. voters' preference for Republican presidential candidates.
But thousands of voters may not realize they have to do more than mark the straight-ticket option.
With polls showing a highly competitive race between Barack Obama and John McCain this year, the effect of straight-ticket undervotes could be more significant. It also has an effect on nonpartisan offices such as mayors and Supreme Court judges.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bev Perdue has recorded a phone call reminding voters that they have to 1) vote for president, 2) decide whether to vote straight-ticket for down-ballot partisan races and 3) cast votes for local offices and judges.
State elections director Gary Bartlett said that voters may mark the straight-ticket option and then cross over to the other party in selected races. (Raleigh) News & Observer
Dole says Hagan's ‘absentee' charge is misleading
Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., said accusations that she has not spent much time in North Carolina are misleading.
Her opponent, Democrat Kay Hagan, accuses Dole of being an absentee senator. The Winston-Salem Journal, citing tax-paid travel records, reported recently that Dole spent only 13 days in the state in 2006.
But Dole says she often travels to the state on her own money.
“I've been home constantly, whether it was a personal thing or whether it was my brother,” Dole said this week. Her older brother died of cancer earlier this year.
“You don't put out a press release every time you come home,” Dole said, adding that it's unfair to portray her as an outsider who has spent much of her life in Washington, D.C., or in her husband Bob Dole's state of Kansas.
“My roots are so deep in North Carolina,” Dole said. “I grew up Salisbury, went to Salisbury high school. I went to Duke. I was on the Duke board for 11 years. I have a family business. Our farm has been turned into a real estate development just outside Salisbury.”
Fort Mill mayor apologizes for Antichrist e-mail
Fort Mill Mayor Danny Funderburk apologized to his constituents for forwarding a debunked e-mail message suggesting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is the biblical Antichrist.
“I am sorry I forwarded that e-mail and the discomfort it may have caused,” Funderburk said at the beginning of a recent town council meeting. “I'm also sorry for other e-mails I've forwarded about other candidates.”
He said the e-mail was intended to go to a small group of friends and family who had been discussing the race and the candidates, but said forwarding e-mails like that is a bad practice that he wouldn't continue.
Several residents from the town's predominately black Paradise community spoke in response. All of them said they were hurt or offended when they learned of the e-mail, but most also spoke of forgiving and moving forward.
However, the Rev. Victor Wilson, pastor of United AME Zion Church on Steele Street, was not satisfied with Funderburk's explanation of his intent when forwarding the e-mail. He accused Funderburk of dodging the question.