Tales from the polls


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East Charlotte:

At Precinct 124 it was 9:05 a.m. and the line was nearly at the street. The precinct, Hickory Grove Elementary School Gym at 6300 Highland Avenue, is across the street from Precinct 95, which had a shorter line. One woman said that some of the people in line at 124 were supposed to be at 95.

Della Glover arrived at her polling place at 8 a.m. and said it only took her an hour and a half to vote.

“They don’t have enough booths in there. They should’ve doubled it,” she said of the eight voting machines inside the gym.

Glover, who said she is a Democrat who voted for Sen. Barack Obama, didn't vote early because she enjoys the tradition of voting on Election Day. She said she has never had to wait this long to vote before: “But it was worth it. We may have our first African-American president, so I anticipated long lines."

Sarah Provencal was participating in her second presidential election. The native New Yorker feels as if her vote didn’t count four years ago. But she said she knew this year would be different. “I think Barack Obama is an inspiring person and I’ve never had a politician inspire me before,” she said, wearing an Obama shirt (debunking the myth that you can’t wear a candidate’s shirt to the polls). “This is the first time I’ve felt as if my vote counts,” she said.

Precinct 11 Uptown:

Madeline Foust waited just 15 minutes to cast her vote this morning around 11:30 a.m. “I voted for [Sen. John] McCain and [Charlotte mayor Pat] McCrory,” she said of her choice for president and N.C. governor. “They are the ones who best suit my beliefs.”

Foust said McCrory seems to have the most experience to be the next leader of the state.

Sylvia Clark said she voted for Obama and went straight Democrat for the other races. She admitted that she ignored some of the judge races and other nonpartisan issues on the ballot. Clark said she waited 20 minutes to vote and this was her first time casting a ballot. “Barack Obama brought a lot of people off the couch and out of the house,” she said. “Obama is the difference maker.”

Carolina Panther Julius Pepper also voted today, but he moved so quickly to get to his Range Rover, that I didn’t get a chance to ask him about his voting decisions.

Midday seemed to be the best time to vote at most polling places because there were no long lines.

Precincts 23 and 25, West Charlotte:

James Mobley headed to the polls from work. He’d taken a few extra moments off from work to cast his vote for Obama. “I’d like to see a change,” he said.

At Precinct 23, Nathan Stroud said he only waited 10 minutes to vote. “I was going to come later, but my roommate said I’d better get over here now.”

Stroud, a registered Democrat, said he voted for Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr as a means of protest. “There were a few things that turned me off about Obama, like the church,” he said referring to Obama’s former affiliation with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. “You don’t go somewhere for 20 years and not pick up something.”

Stroud said when it came to choosing the next governor; it was a simple choice. “Anybody but Pat McCrory,” he said. “I haven’t cared for what he’s done for the city.”

Stroud said he did vote yes for all of the bond referendums, however. “We do have some bad roads,” he said. And that’s the truth.


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