by Billy Ball
Polls are closing now, and the word is turnout.
All over the state, there are reports of presidential election-type turnout, perhaps a reflection of just how bitter this year's midterm campaign has been in North Carolina.
Meanwhile, Mark Dorosin, managing attorney for the UNC Center for Civil Rights, says the nonpartisan center's Election Day hotline has been besieged with higher than normal call volume for a midterm.
Dorosin compared the calls to a presidential election year, noting many seem spurred by this year's election law changes, even though voter ID provisions do not take effect until 2016.
"A lot of people are calling just for clarification," Dorosin said.
Dorosin, a Democratic county commissioner in Orange County, said the hotline has not received reports of voter intimidation. Rather, he said precincts in Durham and Mecklenburg counties have been apparently overwhelmed with turnout.
He added that callers have also expressed confusion about one new voting regulation directing poll workers to deny provisional ballots for voters who turned up at the wrong precinct. Until this year's election, such voters would have been allowed to cast provisional ballots.
"We want to make sure they get to the right place," Dorosin said.