Andrew Kaplan

Andrew Kaplan
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
March 15
Chief Idea Officer
Andrew Kaplan loves media, politics, sports and stirring things up. He worked in his career at HBO, The Movie Channel and NBC radio. He currently has a radio show on and blogs about his advenures in media. He is also a recognized expert in social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn.


Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 27, 2008 4:26PM

Swing State NC Will Undercount Prez Votes

Rate: 3 Flag

I just went to the polls today to vote in the early voting. I arrived at my public library to find about 100 people already in line in front of me with a 45 minute wait to vote. It was 2:30 on a Monday afternoon.

I know I have read and studied the Obama and McCain campaigns and visited and met many of the candidates in person. However, a small sign taped to the banister as I made my way up the stairs at the Huntersville, NC library said "A straight party vote does NOT include the President". I can't imagine how many people will be confused by this or how many people may miss this sign as they are standing in line talking.

I am not sure how with Obama and McCain e-mailing, calling, canvassing, etc. I had never read before that if you pull the straight party vote, you do NOT vote for the President.

Since NC uses high tech computerized voting machines, I have to believe that this will also confuse the non-computer literate, the poor, uneducated, and elderly. After voting I went on line to do some research and it seems this had been set up the same way in 2004 with an estimate of 90,000 votes for President not cast. They counted the total # of ballots and then how many votes for President. This year, the number can be even larger.

In Charlotte, this may actually hurt McCain where our popular Republican Mayor, Pat McCrory, is runnin g for governor. While many local democrats will split tickets for voting, many Republicans will click on the "Straight Party Vote" thinking they get McCain and McCrory.

The other problem which I learned last week at the Mallard Creek BBQ attended by 20,000 people and most major statewide candidates is that Judges are not included in the straight party vote since their positions are non-partisan.

With North Carolina as a major swing state, this issue will be appearing soon on national television and definitely on election night if the vote is as close as it is assumed to be here.

The early voting in NC is very heavy with people lining up at the opening of the polls each day and being at the polls and hour after the official closing time each night (the rule is if you are in line when the 7 pm closing time happens, you get to vote). Just like looking for "cheap gas stations" the media in NC is starting to report the best places to early vote with the shortest waiting times.

Interesting times, indeed and more fodder for the political parties. Keep an eye out on this issue as I expect it to surface on major media outlets soon.





Your tags:


Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
I voted and when they handed me my ballot, they pointed out the features you noted, so if a voter listens, they will know.

And I like the judges being listed seperately. Outside a woman offered me a list of conservative judges. I declined as I intended to vote for female judges and will intil the bench is balanced.

I also had the pleasure of choosing between two women for senator.
This vote for women strategery is working.

I voted for 15 female candidates in my district. 10 years ago, I had a choice of two female candidates in the same size field.

I just hope they count my vote!
"This vote for women strategery is working."

It would be interesting to know how many people took the same approach in Alaska's last gubernatorial election!
I voted at 2:30 also ;0) in Florida with a paper ballot. Very professional and uneventful and took less than 15 minutes. If there was a name or address discrepancy they had forms one could fill out to deal with the problem immediately.


One of the pollworkers had puppies to adopt which was odd and I wanted one for my daughter but they were gone by the time I finished. Never saw that at a polling place before.
Until there is equal representation in all fields, the event of bad people winning is just as likely among men as women.

When there is equal representation of women in government, there will be proportional numbers of ones I support and ones I can't.

But until women are in office, the ball can't roll and so I would have voted for Palin for governor.

This year I got to vote AGAINST Dole in favor of another woman.
It would have never happened without an effort to get more women involved.

If I only had good women to vote for, that would be a dream. Is it like that among the men who have been voted in yet?

I didn't think so.
"I would have voted for Palin for governor."

I could have voted over the weekend, but when I stopped in at the early voting station in a nearby mall on Saturday afternoon, there were several hundred people in line. I think I'll wait until next week.

The last time I voted, our precinct (or whatever it's called) in south Raleigh used paper ballots with optical readers. Pretty easy to use, and one of the lowest error rates of any voting medium, if I remember correctly.
The fact that you don't understand a voting strategy doesn't invalidate it.

And last time I looked, voting for any old white man that they threw up for us hasn't been working out for minorities.

Until it's equal, it ain't. It is using the system to equalize it. Until more women are in office, there can never be equity and although it is an interesting dream to have all of them be of my particular political ilk, it is not how it will work. I don't agree with a large proportion of the men in office now either. It is about equal representation, not democrats and republicans.

I won't use up Ndrew's blog with any more of this, there are articles on it deep in the old stuff on my blog that I am sure would not really interest anyone at this point in the game.

But I am a rational voter and I got to vote for more people like me this year and that is the ultimate dream, to vote for people that understand you and will vote with your sensibilities in mind.

Keep voiting for the old guys. They really got it goin on, eh?
I voted Monday afternoon, during the worst of the rain. I found the polls empty so I could talk to the poll workers. We also had SAT style ballots and an optical reader. The only thing I found out that was of concern is that an early vote in my WNC county is counted as an absentee ballot. I had to sign something to that effect, even though I had misgivings. I seem to remember Florida and uncounted absentee ballots...
The voting was pretty obvious in the place I voted. I just wonder about on election day with the smaller polling places. I guess it is in all parties interests to point out that straight party vote.

There are a lot of women on the ballot in NC this year at all levels including many of the judges. I never really gave it a thought that we might have a woman governor and senator this year from NC.

One of the things that never came up in the gubernatorial election is that our mayor, Pat McCrory is a part time mayor and is an employee and on the payroll of Duke Energy. It is amazing to me that a city like Charlotte still allows this and now he has a platform for governor. My wife told me he is resented by his co-workers because somehow he never really shows up for work.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, the musician "Usher" is performing for Obama in the beat goes on.....
It wasn't an accident that all those women showed up on the ballot.
I found it delicious that I got to vote for women at the top of our ticket in NC!

We can't track it because it isn't a movement and we don't talk about it because people ridicule the decision, but I am not the only on the votes the way I do.

If I can tell that you are a woman, I vote for you, unless I know specific information that you are a bad person. I voted AGAINST two women this year because I think both of them are nuts.

But on the other hand, if I know nothing about the candidate (and how many judges do you really know anything about?), then I vote for the woman to help the cause of eventual equality.

It is no worse a strategy than a straight party ticket. An it appears that more of us do it than can be counted, or all those women on my ballot would not be there.

Vote early, but not often!
Good points, Andy. As far as I can see (which is never very far, where politics are concerned), one of the tactics used in American politics is that of creating confusion and misinformation. The day that political agendas are presented in a clear, uncomplicated, up-front manner is surely the day that we'll have integrity in politics. How many times have we all "missed the signs"?
Interesting points. I generally vote for the candidate whom I believe would have an open mind, empathy, and showed that would be a true leader by taking heat. I also look for a candidate who is a visionary.

It looks like at least in NC that the two party system opened up a bit here. The libertarian candidates were in the gubernatorial debates and had people running for the major offices including having a "straight ticket" button. The Libertarian candidate for governor, was humble, smart, courteous and thankful to the other two candidates that they treated him as an equal in the debates.

In two of the debates Bev Purdue, the democratic candidate did not show up and the debate was between the Republican and the Libertarian.

Also, Bev Purdue also never came to Charlotte to the largest political event last week the Mallard Creek BBQ. She also did not show up at an Obama/Biden events (including when Joe Biden asked her to stand up and she wasn't in the audience at UNCC last week. Kay Hagan was not there either which seemed to be a snub at Charlotte. I asked her son at the BBQ, where his mom was campaigning that day and he said in Wilmington...I told him Biden introduced his mother and he was surprised to learn Biden spoke only 10 minutes away an hour before. So for some reason her handlers are keeping them out of Charlotte.
I've never had the option of a "straight party vote" in Ohio, other than going down the list and individually marking the candidates from your party.
Getting crazier here...Huckabee is coming to Charlotte tomorrow, Obama is having a "secret visit" both to meet campaign workers to pump them up for election day at campaign offices. at least that is what my e-mails say....