Welcome to the INDY’s Election Day live blog! There are, as of this writing, approximately 630 minutes until polls close in North Carolina and our long national nightmare finally (hopefully?) comes to an end.
Throughout the day, the INDY will have a team of reporters out of the streets of the Triangle, talking to voters, looking into reports of election weirdness, and generally being on the lookout for any news that breaks. As they report in, I’ll be updating this blog. (And with more frequency later in the day, after we put this week’s newspaper to bed; one of the problems with being weekly is that we’re going to send this week’s edition to the printer this afternoon without knowing how things turned out.) But you can also follow along on the INDY’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, which will likewise be updated with interviews and commentary.
Our team comprises Raleigh bureau chief Ken Fine (hereafter referred to by his initials, KF), staff writers Lauren Horsch (LH) and Paul Blest (PB), food editor Victoria Bouloubasis (VB), and interns Sara Kiley Watson (SKW) and Melissa Cordell (MC).
Let’s dig in:
2:17 p.m. We are closing this particular live blog. A new one will go online in an hour or so.
2:08 p.m.: Breaking:
1:52 p.m.: From VB:
1:39 p.m.: You can watch the NAACP’s press conference here.
1:37 p.m.: The election in North Carolina will likely be determined by turnout—the larger the turnout, the better Hillary Clinton’s chances in the state. Here’s some historical data from Jonathan Kappler.
1:24 p.m.: Wake County Commissioner John Burns seems optimistic about the outcome of the transit referendum, which we wrote about here.
1:10 p.m.: Just got an email from Lamont Lilly, a Durham activist who is running for vice president on the World Workers Party ticket, directing us to this story. (Read our profile of Lilly from last week.)
The story quotes from several activists, including Lilly. Here’s what he had to say:
Lamont Lilly is the 2016 Workers World Party, U.S. vice presidential candidate. In 2015, he was a U.S. delegate at the International Forum for Justice in Palestine in Beirut, Lebanon.
The U.S. presidential elections are just a day from being over. The bad news is that many people in the U.S. are finally coming to grips with our feelings of disillusionment, distrust and discontent. On one hand, there’s Donald Trump, an openly racist misogynistic bigot. On the other, there’s Hillary Clinton, a renowned warmonger whose foreign policy decisions have brought death to millions, particularly throughout Central America, Africa and the Middle East. Both are agents of Wall Street and the U.S. corporate elite.
In North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, early voting numbers have declined drastically. Several counties and local municipalities in North Carolina are currently being sued by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for voter suppression. North Carolina is the same state that was just fighting against stiffer voter ID laws back in July.
In the city of Charlotte, N.C., community members are still seeking justice for the police murder of Keith Lamont Scott. On Sept. 20, Scott was murdered by the Charlotte Police Department as he sat waiting in his car to pick up his son from school. The shooting, featuring three armed police officers and unarmed Keith Scott, was captured on live video.
There was also North Carolina’s repressive House Bill 2, which isn’t just a “bathroom bill” that discriminates against LGTBQ people; it also prevents local municipalities from increasing the minimum wage.
It’s so important to have all of these struggles represented with compassion and understanding. What is happening here in the U.S. South is not an isolated regional phenomenon. Such disregard for justice, human life and human need is, unfortunately, occurring worldwide. Mass solidarity is the only way that the poor and marginalized are going to create the change we need. That change, starts right here, in the United States.
We know that no matter who wins this upcoming election, we’re going to have to stay in the streets and continue organizing. Nov. 8 will come and go. Unfortunately, state-sponsored violence and police brutality will still be here. Poverty and unemployment will still be here. Racism and anti-Blackness will still be here. Fuck the elections! As activists, we have to stay vigilant and keep organizing.
12:50 p.m.: NAACP presser at 1:15. We will be there.
12:07 p.m.: We’re getting word that the NAACP will be holding a press conference in Durham later today. Not yet sure what it’s about.
11:49 a.m.: A little confusion on an earlier post. The issue at Cedar Grove appears to be unrelated to the one reported by @BullCityVA. At Cedar Grove, according to Orange County Board of Elections director Tracy Reams, was that the printers weren’t working, so poll workers were confused about who had and hadn’t voted. Reams tells the INDY there have been no reported problems elsewhere in Orange County. We’re still digging into the initial reported problems and will let you know what we find.
11:45 a.m.: From KF:
And from PB:
10:49 a.m.: And now for some important news:
10:45 a.m.: Throughout the day, we’ll be adding interviews with voters. This one comes from SKW.
9:30 a.m.: Durham County says the issues at polling locations were due to problems with the computer system it uses to look up voter information. After consulting with the State Board of Elections, the county determined that precincts would switch to paper poll books.
9 a.m.: Problems in Durham County, too, according to city council member Charlie Reece.
8:55 a.m.: Already hearing about something strange going on in Hillsborough. From @BullCityVA, a poll watcher:
SKW called the Orange County Board of Elections and was told: “There were issues at the Cedar Grove site, and it was an error on [the part] of precinct officials.” She’s on her way out there and will update when she arrives.