Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A long day ...

Election Day turned into the usual long stretch. We just got back home from the Republican "victory celebration" (admittedly a mixed batch this time) and we're unwinding with email and election returns.

In 2004 I managed to visit about 34 of the 41 precincts in the Johnston County; this year we structured the poll watching a bit differently and I only went to eleven. The rural precincts seemed to be running about 25% turnout, while the town precincts like South Smithfield (our own) and East Selma were 30% or more. Of course, in our area, the fact that three of the candidates on the ballot are neighbors made it something of a personal election. For what it's worth, I did not vote for all three of them.

At this point in the evening, it appears that Bob Etheridge (D) will be returning as District 2's Congressman. Rusty Duke is not doing well in his race for Chief Justice on the state Supreme Court, though Ann Marie Calabria is in a tight race. Mark Martin seems to be reelected but Eric Levinson may be in trouble. Sheriff Steve Bizzell is winning handsomely. It also looks like the Johnston County School Board will have three Republicans this year instead of four; Larry Strickland is well in the lead for reelection, and GOP challenger Butler Hall is holding third out of three, but Democrat Dorothy Johnson looks like a solid second place.

Wife Melanie spent several hours in the rain around lunchtime handing out palm cards with the GOP candidates (especially the officially nonpartisan judicial races ... right); when she came back, the boys took turns in shifts until the polls closed. I don't think our precinct ran more than four hours today without a Young present. My time was spent on the roads of southwest Johnston County talking with polling officials.

Interestingly enough, there were no serious problems reported with people, machinery, or provisional ballots this year, at least not in the precincts I visited. Two things were common to all of them, though -- a higher than expected turnout, and universal disgust with the electronic voting machine reserved for visually impaired voters.

UPDATE 11/08/06 a.m.: Corrected the name of the one Democrat re-elected to the school board.

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