A lot of North Carolinians are voting early, and this is good. A lot of North Carolinians are voting straight-party tickets, and hopefully they're reading the instructions before they do so. Because those instructions are important. So if you plan to vote straight party, please read ALL of the notes. Otherwise, you may not be casting the ballot you think you are. The instructions are the same for all ballots in all districts, but the B of E arranged them with probably the most important item listed last. So as a public service, you can find an annotated copy below the fold.
a. Unless otherwise noted, a Straight PartyThere are several important exceptions to (a) above, most notably (e).
vote is a vote for ALL candidates of that party
in PARTISAN OFFICES. It is not necessary
to mark individual candidates for PARTISAN
OFFICES if you vote a Straight Party.
b. You may vote a Straight Party AND ALSOI don't know why anyone would mark the straight party box and then vote against the party in an individual race, but you can if you want to.
vote for a candidate of a different party in any
c. In any multi-seat office, a Straight PartyItem (c) requires a couple of readings to understand, but I think it mainly applies to county commissioners and school board races where several seats are contested. So if three seats on the county board of commissioners are being contested, and you vote a straight Dem ticket, it votes for the Democrats running for all three seats.
vote is a vote for ALL candidates of that party.
If you individually vote for any candidate in a
multi-seat office, you must also individually
mark all other candidates in that office for
whom you wish to vote in order for all votes
for that office to be counted.
d. If you do not vote a Straight Party below,The only reason I can think of for including (d) is that it's one more thing to read before you get to the really important item below making it just that much more likely that you'll get bored and stop before you get there.
you may vote by marking each office
e. A Straight Party vote does not include USItem (e) above is the "gotcha" that could make or break the presidential race. More importantly, it could make or break judicial races that have an even greater direct impact on you personally. Yes, there is a chance that a roughly equal number of people on each side will miss this provision. But do you really want to take that chance?
President and Vice President, unaffiliated
candidates, nonpartisan offices, issues or