WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com
Hello friends and neighbors! Mr. Super here posting from the ground in North Carolina today. Lots of exciting news out here and in Indiana as well. I'll offer the early insights that I have so far:
North Carolina employs an early vote period which allows voters to cast ballots at polling places two weeks in advance of an election. This year voters cast nearly half of a million ballots during that period, which is a record for this state, already surpassing the early vote totals from general elections in 2004 and 2006.
Reports of long lines at polling places, high traffic in Charlotte (urban and heavily African American) and in metro Raleigh. Light traffic in Greenville and the East (heavily rural and African American) and a steady stream of voters in Greensboro, Chapel Hill and Durham. Should be an exciting day. Some voting machine errors early on, but they seem to be addressed and fixed as quickly as they are reported.
Supers will be watching intently. It's expected that the candidates could split the states, each ending the night with a win. And though it's unlikely, a double-win by either would be particularly notable.
UPDATE 11:35 AM Eastern: turnout in the East has spiked considerably, now looking at heavy African American turnout and light to moderate White voter turnout.
Participating continues to be very heavy in Charlotte, though the mayor is running for Governor on the Republican side. Thus this may not necessarily indicate Democratic turnout that is drastically higher than anywhere else, but rather that Republicans are actually turning out in high numbers in this region.
UPDATE 12:00 PM Eastern: Turnout in Greensboro still steady. Bill Clinton on the ground in Charlotte at polling places all morning. Senator Clinton called into a conservative talk radio show in Charlotte (Republicans can't take Democratic ballots here, so not sure how that was effective). My guess is that President Clinton will be down East in Greenville later this afternoon.
Precinct 18-05 in Raleigh has seen 814 votes cast out of a possible 2,193 votes available. That's nearly a 40% turnout with roughly 7 hours left to go...
UPDATE: 3:00 PM Eastern: Via phone and working with a team of people, have been spot-checking polling places in Raleigh, Greenville, Charlotte and Greensboro today. Turnout is steady and high, though a bit quiet at the moment (midday is always the slowest).
It's apparent that some precincts in Raleigh are starting to swell as precinct 16-08 in Raleigh is already experiencing a 20-minute wait. Precinct 119 doesn't have enough parking - poll workers employing "curbside assistance" which basically means bringing the ballots to a person's car and they vote there. Kind of like a drive-thru.UPDATE: 8:00 PM Eastern: Just got back from North Carolina State University, where the spring semester ended last week but the campus polling station still managed to rack up 741 votes as of 20 minutes prior to closing. State called for Obama as soon as the polls closed, which indicates a big spread in the exit poll.