by Jane Porter
The ad hammers at Cooper’s 30 years in public office. It poses the question, what has Cooper done while in office, and answers by saying he supported the federal healthcare law and higher taxes.
Jared Leopold, spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association, issued a statement in response:
“National Republicans are in panic mode over the race in North Carolina. Pat McCrory is the most vulnerable incumbent in the country, and he will be sharing a ballot with Donald Trump. Pat McCrory has served in elected office since the 1980s, and has left North Carolina middle-class families with a higher tax burden, crumbling schools and broken promises on women’s health.”
College students all over the state were turned away at the polls yesterday. In Watauga County, home to Appalachian State University, Democracy NC executive director Bob Hall said that voter disenfranchisement seemed to be happening on purpose. "Watauga is a poster child for bad practices," he said. And at a precinct in Chapel Hill - Chapel of the Cross on Franklin St. - he said that the precinct suffered from inadequate preparation and poor management. "They misinterpreted the rules," he said.
Native Americans were disproportionately affected as well. Although Native Americans represent less than 1% of the vote in North Carolina, they made up 5.6% of the provisional ballots cast as of Sunday, many from Robeson County in the southern part of the state. Hall said that this was partially due to a misunderstanding of the information needed on a tribal enrollment card in order for it to be considered an acceptable form of ID.
"The word may have gotten out that [any tribal ID] was acceptable, but it turns out that it needed a photograph and an expiration date. Some that were issued some years ago don’t have one or both features,” Hall said.
Hall said that some of the longest lines in the state were in Durham County, with some precincts closing at 9 or 9:30, two hours after they were supposed to. One voter in Durham County who contacted the hotline had voted at the same polling place for 30 straight years, but was missing from the voter rolls and had to go to the Board of Elections to cast a non-provisional ballot, where she waited for 45 minutes. "The preparation, staffing, equipment, and training were not up to the task," Hall said.
If yesterday's primary caused a lot of problems, it's likely that the general election could be even worse. “It’s very worrisome," Hall said. "It’s not like there was a super big turnout, but it was enough to stress the system out in certain places."
"The election administrators need to do a much better job preparing for a bigger group of voters, some of whom aren’t educated about the process."
Down-ballot drop-off is common in most elections because some voters only want a say on the most high-profile races. It’s less common in general elections because North Carolina voters have had the option to vote a straight partisan ticket.
In the Republican primary, only 72 percent of voters in the presidential primary picked one of the three candidates for insurance commissioner – meaning that more than one in four voters left that part of their ballot blank.
The insurance commissioner race lacked a prominent candidate. The participation numbers were higher in the GOP gubernatorial primary – 93 percent made a choice – and in the party’s U.S. Senate primary, where 89 percent voted.
Down-ballot participation was higher in the Democratic primary, where labor commissioner appeared to get the fewest votes of the Council of State races. About 82 percent of voters in the presidential primary made a selection for labor commissioner, while 86 percent voted for U.S. Senate and 91 percent made a choice for governor.
“I decided I really wanted to stay in Raleigh rather than move to another place as a city manager,” he said. “I always had great respect for what the private sector development community has done here ... always enjoyed that part of the business.”
Allen said the 3-story condos will each have 2 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, with a single-car garage on the first floor. Pricing for the units has not been decided, but Allen said they would likely be under $400,000.
Both buildings will feature modern-style architecture.
“We think it’s going to be very modern and creative but not so much that only a handful of people would want to buy it,” Allen said.
This is the second downtown project for Allen Ventures. The company earlier bought and renovated a house in East Raleigh on Freeman Street, which it sold in January. The company hopes to begin construction of the New Bern condos this summer.
Allen said he’s purposely tried to keep a low profile in his new role given his previous role.
“I’ve tried not to be the principal out-front partner,” he said.