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The Butterfly Ballot Of '08

Via Politico, this Raleigh N&O story highlights a quirk in North Carolina's ballot design that could complicate presidential voting there:

Unlike many states, a straight-party vote in North Carolina does not cast a vote for president. A ballot expert says the split makes it more likely that voters, especially new voters, will leave their polling places failing, by mistake, to vote for president.

I was recently talking to a friend who's doing GOTV stuff for Obama in North Carolina, and she said one of the biggest challenges she faces is that, with all the newly registered voters, many people there think that their vote in the (late and eventually decisive) North Carolina primary actually counts in the general election, too; in other words, they think they've already voted. Combine that misconception with the strange ballot design and it seems like North Carolina could well be the Florida of '08.

--Jason Zengerle