Election

N.C. Board of Elections.

Early voting turnout increased about 40 percent in Mecklenburg County compared to the last midterm election, according to the county board of elections. That's despite seven fewer days of early voting as a result of the state's sweeping election overhaul.

Tom Bullock/WFAE News

On Tuesday, the polls will open, ballots will be cast and the victors of the 2014 midterm elections will be known...we hope.

Historically, the turnout in midterm elections is low. Whichever candidate or party can best mobilize their base is the victor.  It’s what’s known as the ground game. And there is a science behind the strategy.

Don’t let the calm nature of Bruce Epperson fool you. The 42-year-old is on a hunt. "I’m on Danview Avenue, 2800 block."

North Carolina’s US Senate candidates are counting down the hours to Election day Tuesday. Incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and Republican challenger Thom Tillis both brought their campaigns to Cornelius Saturday in hopes of getting out the vote.

WFAE

Election week is finally upon us.  Ben Bradford, Tom Bullock and Lisa Worf talk about what the Democratic and Republican candidates for Senate have accomplished in their political careers.  We also talk about the sales tax referendum on Mecklenburg County ballots - what it goes for and how it got on the ballot in the first place. 

Via Youtube

One of the most controversial special interest groups in North Carolina is back. The group is Justice For All NC. They are a conservative political action committee. They have a lot of cash and they very much want to influence your choice for North Carolina’s Supreme Court. 

The race for U.S. Senate in North Carolina has gotten a lot of the attention this election.  But when you go to vote, you’ll be asked about a proposed change to the state constitution.  The amendment would allow a criminal defendant to have his right to a trial by jury be waived, per a judge’s approval, as long as the state is not seeking the death penalty.  We reached out to Jeff Welty who teaches public law and government at UNC Chapel Hill to find out more.

Lisa Worf / WFAE

Mecklenburg County voters will decide next week whether to increase the county’s sales tax by a quarter cent. If approved, Mecklenburg County’s sales tax would be 7.5 percent. Most of the increase would be used to boost the salaries of CMS employees. But there’s also money in there for the library system, Central Piedmont Community College and the Arts and Science Council. 

www.ncsbe.org

Turnout for early voting in North Carolina is on pace to exceed totals from the last midterm election even though the early voting period is seven days shorter.

With the first four days of in-person early voting under way, the number of voters showing up to cast ballots in North Carolina indicates that there appears to be an energy level that may be running against the grain of conventional wisdom.

From the 2014 ballot

There’s an odd thing about this year’s election ballot: In all four races for North Carolina’s Supreme Court, a known conservative candidate is listed first. Their liberal counterparts, second.

The races are officially non-partisan but that name placement may give a significant boost to those at the top.

Via Youtube

“Tar Heeled and Feathered” is the headline of a report released Thursday.

No, it’s not about any scandal at Chapel Hill.

Instead, the study from the Center for Public Integrity focuses on new dubious distinctions for the U.S. Senate race between Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis.

Courtesy of Time Warner News

Normally, when a high profile politician sits down with a news program, it’s billed as an interview. If the politician in question is a big enough name, it’s called an exclusive. 

But Tuesday night, when Thom Tillis took his seat on the set of Capital Tonight on Time Warner News, it was billed as a debate. Then, after some behind the scenes drama, it went from a debate to something else.

Michael Tomsic

Three at-large seats are up for grabs this election on the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners, which sets the county's budget and policies. Five candidates participated in a debate Tuesday at WTVI. One of the ways they differentiated themselves was on the referendum to increase the county sales tax.

It's Time For A New Campaign Ad

Oct 21, 2014
File photo / WFAE

It would be the answer to prayer if Election Day arrived before Halloween. Campaign advertising has reached a new low. Never before has character assassination been so perfected. I'm all for getting the truth out about a candidate, but this election year I am having a hard time separating the truth from truth that has been stretched, twisted and repackaged.

What are we to think of candidates whose campaign engages in half-truths and downright deception? Do we reward them with our vote or punish them by not voting at all?

The two major-party U.S. Senate candidates in North Carolina are traveling the state this weekend trying to energize their allies with speeches and visits from out-of-state politicians. The campaigns of Republican Thom Tillis and incumbent Democratic Senator Kay Hagan also are raising a ton of money. With help from wealthy donors and outside groups, more than $100 million now has been spent on the North Carolina Senate race, the Charlotte Observer reports.

Tasnim Shamma

A $40 million bond proposal on Hickory’s November ballot is the subject of a public forum Thursday evening. The Hickory bond referendum came out of a project called the Inspiring Spaces' initiative. It calls for economic development projects like building a new business park, road and streetscape improvements of the city’s major roads and a river walk that develops existing areas along the city’s Lake Hickory waterfront. 

David / Flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that North Carolina can move forward with voting restrictions this November. The court is effectively nullifying an appeals court ruling last week that said parts of North Carolina's election overhaul would cause African-Americans irreparable harm this November. It's the latest step – but not the last – in lawsuits against the overhaul Republicans passed last year.

Via Youtube

Throughout the campaign for US Senate you’ve heard this line again and again from Speaker Thom Tillis:

"Senator Hagan has voted with President Obama 96 percent of the time. She’s served as a rubber stamp to President Obama’s failed policies."

Tonight when Hagan and Tillis meet for their third and final debate, you’re almost guaranteed to hear that statistic again. We were wondering why this has become the go-to attack for Tillis, so Tom Bullock to join Morning Edition host Marshall Terry for our Thursday political chat.

Flickr/Vox Efx

Federal appeals court judges ruled Wednesday the U.S. Justice Department is likely to succeed in its argument that North Carolina's election overhaul will deny or curtail African-Americans' right to vote. The appeals court ordered North Carolina to put some changes on hold this November. WFAE's Michael Tomsic joins us now to explain why.

A voter registration mailing sent by an arm of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity has prompted hundreds of calls to the North Carolina Board of Elections.

Many were addressed to dead people, under-age children, even a cat. They also contained some incorrect information. For example, the mailers told people they needed to register at least thirty days before the election. In North Carolina they have until October 10, 25 days before the election.    

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