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Politics

Election Going Smoothly in North Carolina

Election watchdogs say North Carolina voters are experiencing very few problems at the polls today. Bob Phillips of Common Cause North Carolina says lines are common everywhere, and wet weather damaged some ballots in the Raleigh area. But he says the 40-percent of voters who cast an early ballot seem to have made things easier today. "That's not to say that we will completely go through this period without any problems," says Phillips. "But I do credit the elections officials from the state down to the county level for us having, so far, a good voting experience." In 2004, voting machines malfunctioned in Carteret County, North Carolina, causing more than four-thousand votes to be lost. Phillips says state and local officials have since taken all the necessary steps to ensure no votes are lost this election. About half of North Carolina voters use touchscreen machines, and the other half optical scan paper ballots. Common Cause is monitoring 18 precincts across North Carolina and taking voter complaints at 1-866-OUR-VOTE. As of late this afternoon, the hotline had received about 100 calls in North Carolina, primarily from voters trying to find a polling place.