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In Our World

Voting in North Carolina

I mentioned previously that North Carolina had no-excuse early voting. Simply show up at one of the appointed locations, cast your vote, and you're done. The idea sounds pretty sweet. The problem is that we don't seem to be able to handle it. You can't handle the votes!…

I mentioned previously that North Carolina had no-excuse early voting. Simply show up at one of the appointed locations, cast your vote, and you’re done. The idea sounds pretty sweet. The problem is that we don’t seem to be able to handle it.

You can’t handle the votes! In Jacksonville, machines lost more than 4500 votes because the memory wasn’t able to hold them. Apparently the machines were rated to hold 3005 votes (who came up with that number?), while the manufacturer allegedly told the county that they could handle more than triple that number. Votes over the limit were simply never saved, and cannot be recovered. Oops.

In Mecklenburg County, early voters encountered another problem. State law says that early votes cannot be counted until 2pm on election day. Presumably that way the early results aren’t revealed. But it means there is a scramble to count votes, especially when the candidates are in a close race. In this case, three candidates are within 91 votes of each other, making it very tight. Yet some votes appear to have been double-tallied.

Maybe we ought to take a clue from Beverly and stick to filling in the little ovals. Apparently we just don’t know how to work those newfangled machine-thingees.