Avoiding Confusion At The Poll

May 7, 2012

Voters will go to the polls tomorrow with a lot of decisions to make. Local and statewide nominees will be determined, as will a constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages and civil unions. Local elections boards have seen a unique set of circumstances in preparing for election day.

Dave DeWitt: Wake County has 200 precincts. More than half of them are now split precincts, meaning some voters will vote in different congressional and legislative districts than their neighbors in the same precinct. In those cases, different ballots will be handed out. Cherie Poucher is the director of Elections in Wake County. Her office is actively trying to ease confusion.

Cherie Poucher: Wake County did send out voter cards in mid-April. We had hoped to do that sooner, but we were just not able to get that done.

 Another potential point of confusion involves the youngest voters. 17-year olds can vote in the primary, if they will turn 18 by the general election. But those 17 year olds can not vote on the Constitutional Amendment that would ban gay marriage and civil unions. That means every county's Board of Elections had to print out double the amount of ballots - one for voters over 18 and one for those who are 17 now. Wake County alone printed 39 different ballots for the primary.