Notes from the field: Early voting.
So far, long lines are the story, which means that the count in early voting might actually exceed that recorded four years ago. The wait in 2008 averaged 30 minutes at May Memorial Library in Burlington. Several people told me the wait was around 45 minutes at May Memorial last Thursday and Friday. The line extended from the main entrance to Davis Street. When I voted early four years ago, it was a little shorter.
According to an observer, voting in Graham at the Court Services Building (201 W. Elm St.) is much quicker than the Burlington site. More registrars and voting booths help.
The Graham location also has more information signs alerting people to vote separately for president and in the non-partisan races for Alamance-Burlington Board of Education or judges. In fact, one person told me there were no signs alerting voters to this at May Memorial.
Voters are allowed to come in and cast ballots wearing campaign buttons or other insignia for their favorite candidate — they just can’t verbally electioneer. The question came up at one polling place and was resolved with a call to the state Board of Elections in Raleigh.
One observer told me there were a pretty equal number of people wearing Obama and Romney attire the day he was at the polls.
Politicians are working the lines of voters at May Memorial and it may be as good a place as any to get some last-minute votes among the undecideds. Four years ago, Board of Education candidate Patsy Simpson got my vote in line simply by asking for it. She was the only candidate to do so.
See, asking never hurts.