Friday, August 14, 2020

Episode 2 of the ONSP "Vlog": Candidates, Conventions, and Campaigns in the Age of COVID

It's been over a month since our inaugural "vlog" (or video-log) from the four of us, and as we get ready for the fall semester, we thought it would be a good time to get the crew back together and discuss the news of the week so far: Joe Biden's selection of Kamala Harris as his vice presidential nominee, the upcoming virtual DNC and RNC, and how candidates are going to deal with campaigning in this COVID environment. And a few other random topics that you can now find in two formats:

The first version of our Episode 2 is on Youtube, found here:

We've also made the vlog into a podcast, hosted on Soundcloud and found here, along with the inaugural vlog/now in podcast format

Thanks as always for reading and watching/listening to the Old North State Politics! 

Monday, August 10, 2020

NC's Requests for Absentee by Mail Ballots Continues Its Exponential Growth

By Michael Bitzer

A month ago, on July 13, I wrote a piece that North Carolina had nearly 70,000 requests for absentee by mail (ABM) ballots. Two weeks ago, I wrote an update that North Carolina's requests for ABM ballots would hit 100,000 sometime that week. Little did I realize that within two days of posting that, the requests did pass 100K. And as of today (Monday, August 10), we are working our way towards 200,000 requests (again, I'll say for fun) likely within the next week. 

As of August 10, the total requests so far is 163,374, which is 70 percent of 2016's total requests (a little over 231,000) and 82 percent of the final ABM ballots that were submitted and accepted for ballots cast (a little under 200,000). In considering this number of total requests so far, North Carolina is currently 7 times ahead of the same day total requests in 2016. 

As I do on the Twitter account for the blog in greater detail, I'll give the general trends, followed by a breakdown of an important voter characteristic, and then provide what could be a model for looking ahead to an important date of Friday, September 4, when the first batch of absentee by mail ballots are scheduled to be mailed to voters.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

The Surprisingly Long History of Vote-by-Mail Debates in North Carolina (link inside)

The Asheville Citizen Times has been kind enough to give me some space to write about the 2020 election about once a month. This month's column is about the (surprisingly long) history of vote-by-mail debates in North Carolina and I thought it might be of interest to readers of this blog. Please consider clicking through to read the whole piece and, if you're not already a subscriber, please consider a subscription to the Citizen Times.

By Chris Cooper  
It’s hard to turn on the television, click on a web site or scroll through your social media feed without reading or hearing someone declare that our current political moment is unprecedented. And, to some degree, they’re right. After all, political polarization is the highest it’s been since the Civil War, we’re only a few months since the president of the United States was impeached and the country is facing a pandemic the likes of which we have not seen in nearly a century. At the same time, treating all political debates as if they are unprecedented and something that can only happen in today’s political environment can obscure patterns that can help us better understand our current political situation.