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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Orange County early voting running smoothly despite all the yelling at the polls

Posted by on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 4:12 PM

Orange County Board of Elections Director Tracy Reams says she’s received several complaints from voters about overzealous, boisterous campaigners distributing literature at one-stop voting sites.

“They are saying that greeters outside are a little too aggressive and are shouting at them as they go by,” she says.

So far, Reams says campaigners are keeping the required 50 feet distance from the polling sites, but she is taking note of the concerns.

“Outside of the 50-foot boundary, I don’t have any authority over what they do or what they don’t do,” she says, adding that she would call the police if the shouts rise to the level of harassment.

Otherwise, no other problems have been reported at the three early-voting locations. More than 9,500 residents have cast ballots. Reams hopes to reach 15,000 before early voting ends on Saturday.

The Morehead Planetarium site will close at 5 p.m. Friday and will not open Saturday because of UNC football traffic. The Seymour Senior Center in Chapel Hilll and the Board of Elections office in Hillsborough will be open
for voting from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. More info is here.

Folks who haven’t registered to vote can fill out same day registration forms and vote at the above sites. Unregistered voters will not be able to participate on Election Day, so the early-voting sites provide a last chance to weigh in politically.

Reams is aiming for 25 percent of registered Orange County voters to turn out to the polls by the end of Tuesday. In 2006, the last mid-term campaign, 37 percent of county voters filled out ballots.

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