2018 Midterm Election: Voters Across The State Head To The Polls

Nov 6, 2018

Updated at 7:15 p.m.

Voting hours will be extended at precinct sites in two North Carolina counties.

The state elections board held an emergency meeting today to address problems at polls in Gaston and Columbus counties. The state board voted to extend voting by an hour and 50 minutes for one polling site in Columbus County.

Workers did not have the correct ballot this morning at one site causing a delay. In Gaston County, voting will be extended 20 minutes at the Asheboro High School precinct site because of a delay caused by a fire alarm.

- Rusty Jacobs, WUNC

Updated at 5:38 p.m.

Long lines have been reported at several polling places across North Carolina this Election Day, including at one site in Morrisville.

Voters could hardly find a place to park along the street in the Breckenridge neighborhood where the line has been long at the clubhouse. Moomina Sadiqui did not mind the wait.

“It’s much better than the early voting lines, yeah that was really, quite a long line,” said Sadiqui.

This Morrisville voting precinct is believed to have the largest number of Asian-American Pacific Islanders in the state, according to the organization, Asian Americans Together. Chavi Khanna Koneru is the executive director.

Chavi Khanna Koneru, executive director of the organization Asian Americans Together, standing under the group's tent in the Breckenridge neighborhood of Morrisville on Nov. 6, 2018.
Credit Leoneda Inge / WUNC

“We have materials translated into five different languages. We also have multiple people here who can speak different languages,” said Koneru, standing in her organization’s tent  with the sign “Party at the Polls!”

Koneru says turnout of North Carolina Asian-American voters is expected to double 2014 numbers.

Alan Sotelo works in Durham but lives and votes in Morrisville. The registered Independent moved to North Carolina two years ago. Sotelo was also prepared for long lines.

“I think it’s wonderful. It’s our civic duty. One of the gentlemen back there was mentioning, this is what it should be every midterm,” said Sotelo. “And I totally agree, I’m guilty of it, too. I have only voted in presidentials. This is my first midterm.”

-Leoneda Inge, WUNC
 

Updated at 2:30 p.m.

The State Board of Elections & Ethics will meet this afternoon to consider a request to extend voting hours at a Columbus County precinct.

Workers there didn't have the correct ballot when polls opened.

According to state law, voting hours can be extended if delays in opening or interruptions at polls lasting longer than 15 minutes.

- Lisa Philip, WUNC

Updated at 11:56 a.m.

In Greensboro, many voters were up early to make sure their voices were heard. Though the Brown Community Recreation Center was pretty empty at 7:15 a.m., Nekisha Douglas walked out of the polling site happy she’d participated in her “civic duty.”

“I voted because we need to make a change,” she said. “My vote needs to be heard. Every vote counts.”

Eddie Douglas said it matters who is put in office because it will determine the future of the country and the future of an individual.

“I’m trying to show the youth the way to go,” he said. “Voting is very important. Most people don’t see what it’s for and they don’t know who they’re voting for but it does matter.”

- Naomi Prioleau, WUNC

Greensboro resident Nekisha Douglas after casting her vote at the Brown Recreation Center on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.
Credit Naomi Prioleau / WUNC

Updated at 10 a.m.

The State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement has received reports that ballots in some precincts in Wake County and other areas cannot be fed through tabulators.

Initial reports from county elections offices indicate this issue is caused by high humidity levels.

Officials said when ballots cannot be read by tabulators, they are stored in “emergency bins” and will be tabulated as soon as possible.

- WUNC Staff

Updated 8:25 a.m.

The biggest legislative question this midterm is whether Republicans can retain veto-proof majorities in both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly.

The GOP took control of the legislature in 2010 and increased its legislative majorities to veto-proof status during the 2012 election. Those electoral gains reduced the role of an already weak executive branch, and in recent years the GOP followed by regularly overriding executive vetoes as it enacted major tax reforms, social policy and changes to election laws.

Democrats are now trying to alter the balance of power, by breaking one of the supermajorities. Democrats need to net either four seats in the state house, or six in the Senate, which would in turn bolster the negotiating power of Governor Roy Cooper and legislative democrats. Since taking office in 2017 Cooper has vetoed 25 bills from the General Assembly, 20 of which have been overridden.

If Republicans hold slimmer majorities in 2019, protracted budget negotiations and more substantive debate over Medicaid expansion would follow.

All 170 legislative seats – 120 in the House, 50 in the Senate – are on the ballot this mid-term. Many of the most competitive races are projected in Mecklenburg and Wake Counties.

- Jeff Tiberii, WUNC

Updated 6:30 a.m.

Polls have opened across North Carolina and officials with the Board of Elections say there are nearly 3,000 precincts across the state accepting voters today. 

Voters can go to the state Board of Elections website to lookup their registration and see where they should go to vote. Voters can cast a ballot at a different precinct in their county, but the elections board recommends they go to their assigned one to get a full ballot of local candidates.  

To avoid long lines, voters are encouraged to vote during business hours.

Polls close at 7:30 p.m. Anyone in line by that time will be able to vote. 

- Will Michaels, WUNC