11/05/08 — Wayne County voters picked McCain, Perdue

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Wayne County voters picked McCain, Perdue

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on November 5, 2008 1:46 PM


Josh Street volunteers to collect the polling place supplies and vote tallies at the Wayne County Board of Elections building in Goldsboro Tuesday night as polling places across the county checked in at the office.

For Wayne County elections director Vickie Reed, Tuesday's results were a dream come true -- not that Sen. Barack Obama was elected president or that Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue was elected governor -- but rather that nearly 72 percent of registered voters participated in what turned out to be a historic event.

"Being in the election business, I think every election is special, but this was outstanding. I've never worked an election that had almost 72 percent turnout," she said.

It was, she believes, a record.

"I think so," she said. "If it isn't, it should be."

And of those record numbers, 54.07 percent voted for Sen. John McCain for president, while 45.41 percent voted for Sen. Barack Obama. In the governor's race, 52.2 percent voted for Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, while 45.95 percent voted for Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory.

Libertarian candidates also received votes, including Bob Barr (president) 0.34 percent and Michael Munger (governor) 1.86 percent, while 0.18 percent wrote in another candidate for president.

Other significant votes included:

* U.S. Senate -- Republican (incumbent) U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole, 49.37 percent; Democrat N.C. Sen. Kay Hagan, 48.46 percent; Libertarian Christopher Cole, 2.15 percent; write-in, 0.67 percent

* U.S. House District 1 -- Democrat (incumbent) U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, 67.97 percent; Republican Dean Stephens, 32.03 percent

* U.S. House District 3 -- Republican (incumbent) U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, 70.88 percent; Democrat Craig Weber, 29.12 percent

* Lieutenant Governor -- Democrat N.C. Sen. Walter Dalton, 51.34 percent; Republican N.C. Sen. Robert Pittenger, 46.71 percent; Libertarian Phillip Rhodes, 1.95 percent

* Attorney General -- Democrat (incumbent) Roy Cooper, 63 percent; Republican Bob Crumley, 37 percent

* Auditor -- Democrat Beth Wood, 51.04 percent; Republican (incumbent) Leslie Merritt, 48.96 percent

* Commissioner of Agriculture -- Republican (incumbent) Steve Troxler, 54.33 percent; Democrat Ronnie Ansley, 45.67 percent

* Commissioner of Insurance -- Democrat Wayne Goodwin, 50.5 percent; Republican John Odom, 47.21 percent; Libertarian Mark McMains, 2.25 percent; write-in, 0.04 percent

* Commissioner of Labor -- Republican (incumbent) Cherie Berry, 52.66 percent; Democrat Mary Fant Donnan, 47.34 percent

* Secretary of State -- Democrat (incumbent) Elaine Marshall, 57.28 percent; Republican Jack Sawyer, 42.72 percent

* Superintendent of Public Instruction -- Democrat (incumbent) June St. Clair Atkinson, 51.38 percent; Republican Richard Morgan, 48.62 percent

* Treasurer -- Democrat Jane Cowell, 51.1 percent; Republican N.C. Rep. Bill Daughtridge, 48.9 percent

Also, 58.82 percent of voters cast straight Democratic tickets, while 40.5 percent and 0.67 percent cast straight Republican and Libertarian ballots.

"There were some races that people were really interested in this year, from president to the Superior Court judge to Senate District 5 to the commissioners, but I think it was the president that really got people out this year," Ms. Reed said.

And all in all, she continued, it was a smooth process, due in large part to the number of people who voted early -- nearly 50 percent of registered voters.

"There was a rush right at the beginning of the day, but then we were nice and steady all day. Our one-stops were much more hectic than today, but that's how it's supposed to work," she said Tuesday night, adding that in Wayne, unlike other places, no precincts had to stay open late because of lines at the 7:30 p.m. closing time.

She also said that she was not aware of any complaints or problems.

"We didn't have any trouble," she said. "We didn't have anything occur that would lead me to believe there might be a problem."

For now, however, all the results are still unofficial -- at least until canvass at 11 a.m. Nov. 14 at the county Board of Elections on William Street. Even the provisional votes, an estimated 150 to 200, aren't expected to a problem, Ms. Reed said.

"It doesn't look like it, if it's anything like (the pattern of results) we've had, and it's usually the same way," she said.