Patterico's Pontifications

11/2/2008

A PSA for North Carolina Voters

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 3:32 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

According to Jim Geraghty at NRO’s The Campaign Spot, voting a straight ticket on the North Carolina ballot does not cast a vote for President:

“But in North Carolina, if you vote the straight party line… you don’t vote for president. That takes a separate vote.”

Geraghty states the rule was enacted in 1967 at the insistence of NC Democrats who feared Hubert Humphrey would be a drag on the ticket.

The Charlotte Observer interviewed a Duke University computer scientist and ballot expert who found that 2-3% of NC voters didn’t vote for President in 2000 and 2004. The expert noted that, nationally, 1.1% of voters leave the presidential selection blank so he thinks it’s likely some NC voters are not aware that presidential and straight-ticket votes are separate.

— DRJ

13 Responses to “A PSA for North Carolina Voters”

  1. Stupid people shouldn’t vote anyway.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  2. I applaud the state for preventing mindless votes. I would support the same legislation in deep blue states as well.

    truthnjustice (d99227)

  3. The rule was enacted in 1967 at the insistence of NC Democrats who feared Hubert Humphrey would be a drag on the ticket.

    Once again, the Bush GOP dis-enfranchises minority voters….Ugh, Never mind.

    Another Drew (2d9338)

  4. As an early voter in NC, I can at least speak to the way this was handled in my county. After being checked in and the proper ballot selected, each voter had the presidential/party-line disconnect explained to them. Along with the ballot we were also given a slip of paper with the matter explained again in print. Also, the ballots are printed so that the presidential race is the first item, followed by the party-line selection and all the remaining partisan and non-partisan races. If this is common handling of the matter across the state, then I believe there would be virtually no voters who could make the mistake of voting party-line and expecting it to count towards the presidential race.

    Michael A (c19305)

  5. I’m sorry to hear that. I like to think that most of the voters dumb enough to make that mistake would either vote a straight Dem ticket and forget to vote for Obama, or vote for Obama and think that gave them a straight Dem ticket for everyone else. We’ll find out when all the Dems vote on Wednesday.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  6. Actually, as was shown in the earlier polling among those educated by patterico himself, those who were college graduates were more likely to vote democratic.

    truthnjustice (d99227)

  7. I live outside of Raleigh and voted on Saturday afternoon. The poll workers were passing along the message that you have to vote for President AND vote for the straight party ticket if that’s what you want to choose. And it fairly obvious on the ballot. Straight party ticker only applies to NC office candidates.

    Dee (4c2ac9)

  8. I voted early in NC and we were told AND given a slip of paper explaining how the President and straight party votes were separate.

    Anyone who doesn’t vote for President or their party (assuming they wanted to) – just isn’t paying attention.

    Actually, anyone voting straight party in this state REALLY isn’t paying attention.

    Nathania Johnson (fc51ff)

  9. I don’t like the notion of a party line box on the ballot in the first place, but if there’s going to be one, it should apply to all races.

    The legislature of North Carolina should fix this.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  10. I live in NC, and I’ve never been confused about it. It’s written right there on the ballot. Hard to miss, even for a noob.

    Spoodles (8f040c)

  11. Voted Saturday in New Hanover County (Wilmington)NC. The poll worker passed the information out multiple time during my 3 hour wait. When i finally voted the polling official that loaded my ballot made sure I knew to vote for the President first, then straight ticket If I wanted.
    Great job by all involved. I would say a great majority were McCain.Palin supporters, no one I talked to had ever been polled.

    billmill (d0267f)

  12. This voting procedure has been the law for over fifty years and now the media sees a problem? Give me a break! This is non-news set out to provide some cover for a Obama loss.

    longwalker (ce69ff)

  13. NC voter here –

    The polling place I went to made it very clear that the straight ticket did not include the Presidential race. It was handed to every person in writing, a pollster announced it several times, and there were signs posted at the entrance.

    Plus, when you select the straight ticket, all the races in which it applies automatically check-marked the proper candidate (and it was a pretty HUGE check-mark).

    Anyone who simply glances over the ballot will see none of the candidates in the Presidential race were selected.

    If a voter can’t figure out something so simple, they probably shouldn’t be voting at all.

    DJM (dfb370)


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