Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Breaking: Republican Member of BOE Refuses To Extend Early Voting Hours

Republican member of the local Watauga County Board of Elections, Stacy Eggers IV ("Four"), single-handedly put the kibosh this afternoon on extending the hours of early voting.

Early Voting was seriously down today because of the weather. Gary Bartlett, head of the state Board of Elections, had already communicated with all county boards of elections that they should consider extending voting hours because of the heavy turn-out, but he also mandated that any extensions of voting hours would need to be unanimous.

Watauga County -- like every other county in NC -- has three members of the Board of Elections: two Democrats and one Republican. Four Eggers said he was quite happy with the way things were. No need to extend Early Voting just because of a little snow.

The proposal on the table: extend Early Voting at the Courthouse from 5-7 p.m., Thurs. & Friday of this week, and on Saturday, from 1-3 p.m. Extend Early Voting at the ASU Student Union from 5-7 tomorrow and Thursday.

Safe bet that it was the extension of those ASU hours that gave Mr. Eggers sudden dyspepsia.


Anonymous said...

Unless all the polls are open, there should not be any early voting.

Anonymous said...

What a very good observation, Anon.

Too bad that has not been the policy in past years.

Of course, the present and past practices gave and continues to give some more equality and advantage than others.

Anonymous said...

Wahhhh! I only have a little over two weeks to vote and it snowed one of those days so can someone please come to my room and bring me a ballot so I don't have to go out in the cold?

Anonymous said...

If the all the polls were open the you all would be crying about how expensive it is. Why are you so afraid to let people vote? I saw plenty of people from different parts of the county at the court house when I voted.

Anonymous said...

Who is afraid of letting people vote. I'm all for it. I support early voting. I support voting by all legal and eligible voters. I support voting early, absentee or on election day.

What's wrong with having all polls open for a couple days each on a rotating basis?

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. Since when did personal responsiblity fly out the window! Check the times and dates to vote and do it. Stop your crying and blaming... haven't we had enough of that hand fed whining!

Brushfire said...

I live way out in the country and it's much more convenient for me to vote early in town, where I go to work every day. Why make the country folks suffer through long lines on voting day? Early voting makes it much easier on everyone!

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, Brushfire. By all means. Have rural people come into town, which can take a good portion of the day, which is a 40 to 60 mile round trip for most. Most do not live in your circumstances.

You don't mention that some rural people do work in town; that is, the very few jobs available, if any, left that the college students don't have.

You don't mention that many rural citizens work in other counties and even in another state, and because they have to.

Yet, ASU gets a voting site right on campus, which is definitely not a good choice for people driving or handicap parking, etc. It is specifically for the very convenient pedestrian, student and ASU personnel, voting. And this site is open for ~2 weeks, even one-stop voting, along with the courthouse, which is also within close proximity for many students and Boone residents.

While rural residents have to commute a sizable trip to vote early, if they can manage it re: their work, etc, or wait to vote in their precinct for one day and they must be pre-registered.

Oh, yes, Brushfire, some indeed are more equal than others. I guess that's the only means by which you can win in this county.

Syd said...

man, this guy Anonymous sure does change his mind a lot.

Not Really said...

Anon 9:32 said:
"Have rural people come into town, which can take a good portion of the day, which is a 40 to 60 mile round trip for most."

I call BS here. 60 miles round trip? 40-60 miles *for most*? Deep Gap is about 9 miles from downtown. Triplett's also about 9. Bethel School is about 14 miles. Even way up Locust Gap by the state line is just 18 miles. About the only place in Watauga that's as far from downtown Boone as you're claiming is Beech Mtn. (25 miles) and somehow I don't think those are the "rural people" you're talking about. The vast majority of people in this county live within 15 miles of downtown.

I also call BS about ASU students "taking" jobs. ASU and the students who come here create many, many more jobs than they "take". People commute to ASU every day from Mtn City because of better opportunities here. This is an ignorant knee-jerk complaint that has absolutely no basis in reality. Just take a look at this map of unemployment by county and compare Watauga to all the surrounding counties:


I realize that for some people complaining about ASU is a pastime, but it does the people of this county no good to perpetuate the falsehood that ASU students take anyone's jobs.

Syd or somebody said...

Yes he does.

Anonymous said...

Not Really, according to the high Country Press, 71% of the early voters have a Boone address. This proves people in Boone have an advantage over people that live out in the county.

Your statements have been proven false.

Anonymous said...

Not Really, you had better get your mileage corrected.

The mileage you are referring to is probably as the bird flies.

From my home, a one way trip to Boone is about 20 miles. And apparently, you think it is convenient and no problem for rural people to take a trip to Boone just to vote.

The "vast majority" you are thinking of live in suburbs around Boone and Blowing Rock.

You are the one spewing BS.

Still, it is OK for you to claim that rural people can easily travel to Boone to vote, while ASU students have a voting site right on campus within walking distance and still another at the courthouse.

And yes, ASU students do take jobs from county citizens, even local young people who are not ASU students. The jobs created by ASU's presence are not true free enterprise jobs but provided primarily by huge allocations of taxpayer money. It is obvious you cannot understand the difference.

And what about the county taxpayer money that benefits ASU only? ASU is a huge burden on the backs of county citizens. Sure, a few may benefit some, but to most, ASU is a costly burden and in ways other than financial.

brotherdoc said...

It is clear that many comments here come from the emotions, not the head. To say that ASU jobs are inferior because they are not "free enterprise" jobs is absurd. A job is a job, an ASU employee's dollars circulate just like a Republican lawyer's do. People who resent ASU has a polling place seem also to resent that students vote at all, but this matter has been adjudicated in the highest courts and they do have that right, here in Watauga County where they live. So get used to it. They rent your apts., they shop in your stores, and to you rural folks--they buy your products at the Farmer's Market, for heaven's sake. There are thousands of them living on campus. Why can't they have a convenient polling place? BTW there are specific parking places set aside all day for early voters driving to use the ASU polling place in the parking deck on College St. It will be true on Election Day as well. Same at the Court House. You anonymooses are the whiners.

Anonymous said...

Not all rural people are farmers, brotherdoc. Many of us are competing for the jobs that illegal aliens and ASU students drive the pay down for. When there are so many people for so few jobs (caused by the Obama economy) the jobs don't pay much.

Parking spaces do not have anything to do with the ease of early voting. Travel time and expense do.

The HCP article proves you wrong. 71%.....SEVENTY ONE PERCENT

Not Really said...

Anon 10:24 said:

"according to the high Country Press, 71% of the early voters have a Boone address. This proves people in Boone have an advantage over people that live out in the county.

Your statements have been proven false."

What I stated was that various places in Watauga County are x miles from downtown Boone. I'd love to have you explain how the percentage of early voters from Boone proves factual statements about distances to be false. The number of voters has nothing to do with how far one place is from another.

I swear, sometimes you don't know whether to laugh or just shake your head.

Not Really said...

Just one more comment:

Those mileages I quoted are not as the crow flies, they're based on road miles. Drive it and you'll see for yourself. You say people living within 15 miles of Boone are in the "suburbs" but Deep Gap is less than 10 miles away - is Deep Gap a suburb of Boone now? Of course there are some people that live further out than that, but the original claim was that the "vast majority" of rural voters lived between 20-30 miles from Boone and that's just not true. Only a miniscule number of people in this county live that far from town.

I'm not even going to start with the ASU comments. What anonymous 11:00 said is just nonsense. Like I said, for some people complaining about App is a pastime. Luckily thery're a pretty small minority in this area.

Camelot said...

I think that the use of 71 percent have a Boone address is not a fair statement. If my wife and I were to vote early we would show up as a Boone address and we live 10 miles from town. Just because you live out in the county doesn't mean you have have an address other than Boone. You have a huge section of Meatcamp all the way to Todd that has a Boone address and your going to tell me that is the suburbs of Boone.

I want to know what county taxpayer money goes to ASU. I've looked at the county budget and can't find it.

Anonymous said...

ASU not only provides jobs as an employer, but their very presence here is the reason that so many Boone are businesses exist. How would the local merchants support their businesses without the traffic ASU generates! I doubt that even the hotels could all survive without the off-season business they get from people visiting ASU students or attending ASU events.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, if you live in Boone , you live in Boone. You are close enough to have a Boone address. Where is your normal polling place? SEVENTY ONE %!

Anonymous said...

Not Really, FYI, I have driven these distances, throughout many years, and have noted the mileage on numerous occasions. The mileage you are talking about is obviously from a US highway or a state highway, only. You forgot many live on county roads or private drives, which add several extra miles to travel.

And anything that goes against your vested interests, like ASU, is considered by you and your ilk as "nonsense". You probably benefit yourself very much so. Many others do not benefit, and again, ASU is a burden on this county, especially the rural people.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 8:49....the BOONE address is not based on where you voted, but on where your registration shows you to live. You could live in Blowing Rock and if you do your early voting in Boone, you will show in the numbers as having a Blowing Rock address.

Just trying to keep the facts straight here.

Anonymous said...

Remember this post from way back in July?


It shows where registered voters are concentrated in Watauga Co. Maybe we shouldn't be surprised that 71% of early voters have a Boone address since in and around Boone is where most people live!

Glenda said...

Has anyone computed the cost per vote of operating an early voting site at either ASU or the Courthouse in comparison with the cost per vote of operating a site in Cove Creek or Foscoe? I think that would be an interesting comparison.

Anonymous said...

Good point! Let's not stop with just early voting though. Some of those rural votes are probably costing too much per vote on election day too!

Not Really said...

Anonymous 4:01 said...
"Not Really, FYI, I have driven these distances, throughout many years, and have noted the mileage on numerous occasions. The mileage you are talking about is obviously from a US highway or a state highway, only. You forgot many live on county roads or private drives, which add several extra miles to travel. "

This is the last time I'm going to respond to questions about the distances I posted, because frankly things like distance are easy to calculate and anyone with a bit of sense can figure out for themselves that the distances I quoted were correct. Sure, if you live 5 miles up a country road then that's going to add 5 miles to your trip, but once more - the original claim was that there are loads of rural voters who have to make a 40-60 mile round trip to get to Boone. I challenge you to find more than one or two remote corners of this county where the shortest route into Boone is more than 25 miles, no matter what road you live on. Go ahead, tell me where those places are. Because even way up in Rominger or down Sampson or Penley Rd., or Rich Mtn, or Big Hill or Beaver Dam or Wildcat Ridge - you're still not over 25 miles from downtown.

Bottom line: the person who said that rural voters have to make these epic 60 trips just to go vote in Boone was exaggerating those distances to make it seem as though early voting in Boone is much more onerous than it really is. In reality, very few people in this county live over 20 miles from downtown - and most of those that do are in Beech Mountain.

Camelot said...

No one has still addressed the fact that people living out 194 to Ashe County all have a Boone address and last time I checked non of us can vote in the town of Boone elections. We can't even spit at the ETJ. So again are they all now considered town people and not rural people.

Anonymous said...

Sure, Not Really. Just because you say so, then that makes it the gospel truth--right?

Well, there are many in the rural areas who would disagree with you.

From some western parts of Watauga County, according to native people who are older than me, a one-way trip to Boone is from ~ 26 to 30 miles. Believe it or not.

But you want to minimize the mileage that many rural people travel to get to Boone in order to try to justify the very convenient and early voting sites and registration opportunities for Boone and ASU.