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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Are you now, or have you ever been, a straight-ticket GOP voter in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, straight ticket voting doesn't cast a vote for president. This surprised me. I've since learned that there were lots of warnings on the ballot and at the polls, so my warning was probably superfluous.

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[Copied here for archival purposes on November 5, 2008, from the post linked above at HughHewitt.com.]

(Guest Post by Bill Dyer a/k/a Beldar)

Or do you even know someone who fits the title of this post? If so, here's an important reminder, courtesy of Geraghty the Indispensable at NRO's Campaign Spot:

Under a quirk in North Carolina law, casting a straight-ticket ballot does not automatically include a vote for any party's ticket in the presidential election! Instead, you have to manually and separately cast that vote, or your ballot won't be deemed to have cast any vote for anyone for president and vice president.

According to the Charlotte Observer, there's good reason to believe that many folks who've cast straight ticket ballots in the past didn't realize that — and the percentages for whom no effective vote was cast in the past might be determinative in a close race this year:

Unlike in many states, a straight-party vote in North Carolina does not cast a vote for president. A ballot expert says the split makes it more likely that voters – especially new voters – will leave polling places without voting for president.

The split between presidential and straight-party votes has brought national attention to North Carolina this year because the margin between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain is expected to be close.

An unusually high percentage of people in the state who voted in the past two national elections failed to mark a presidential selection.

In an analysis of past election returns, Justin Moore, who received his graduate degree in computer science at Duke University, found that 3.15 percent of voters in North Carolina didn't vote for president in 2000, and 2.57 percent didn't cast a presidential vote in 2004.

Now that is an awesomely important factoid to pass along as promiscuously as you can if you live in North Carolina, or even if you know someone who does. (I've got a former client from there who I'm emailing right now.)

— Beldar

Posted by Beldar at 05:11 AM in 2008 Election, Politics (2008) | Permalink

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