North Carolina politics roundup

NC is now listed by as “Strong Bush” after the latest Survey USA poll shows Kerry now trailing W by 10 points. One poll recently had Kerry as close as 3. Other Survey USA poll results for NC:

Richard Burr ( R ), aka “the comeback kid”, has surged ahead of Erskine Bowles (D) in the race to replace John Edwards in the US Senate. In early September, Bowles was ahead of Burr by as much as 10 points in one poll. Burr now leads Bowles by 6 points.

The NC gubernatorial race is all but finished as incumbent Mike Easley (D) is leading Patrick Ballantine ( R ) in the polls by a comfortable 18 points. The closest Ballantine has ever been to Easley is 7 points and that was in mid August.

In other local news:

GOP files complaint against Mecklenburg County elections board

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The North Carolina Republican Party filed a complaint Tuesday with the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections, charging election officials coached voters on how to cast a straight Democratic-party ticket.

According to the GOP, election officials have given ballots to voters at one-stop voting locations and then provided “unsolicited, yet explicit, examples of how to vote for U.S. Sen. John Kerry and then a straight-Democratic ticket.”

According to the complaint, voter Wayne Sorenson was told by an election official “to vote the straight Democratic ticket all you needed to do was push this button.”

The election official then held her finger over the button as if to suggest that she was happy to push the button for Sorenson, the complaint said. This pattern has been repeated by other election officials in Mecklenburg County, according to witness reports.

“Our top priority is that North Carolina elections are fair and above reproach,” said state Republican chairman Ferrell Blount. “We all depend on our election officials to put aside their partisanship and work in an unbiased manner.

“Unfortunately, it appears that election officials in Mecklenburg County have put their partisan desires ahead of their civic obligations,” he said.

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