Fewer than half the votes this election were expected to be cast on Election Day, but get-out-the-vote efforts remained critical to tens of thousands of volunteers for Obama and for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Voters supporting Romney outside the polls appeared more motivated in 2012 than supporters of John McCain were in 2008. Voice-over talent Pat Crosswhite, 55, of Holly Springs called the Obama administration divisive. She said she held her nose and voted for John McCain in 2008, but was much more excited about a vote for Romney and against Obama this year at the Wake County Firearms Education & Training Center in Apex.
"I think it would be disastrous," Crosswhite said of a possible second Obama term. "I think what he started is terrible. I don't want him to finish it."
North Carolina voters also were poised to elect a new lieutenant governor and seven members of the Council of State, all 13 members of the state's U.S. House delegation and the 170 members of the Legislature. They were also picking a justice on the Supreme Court, three Court of Appeals judges and scores of county commissioners and local bond issues.
The Supreme Court race between incumbent Paul Newby and Court of Appeals Judge Sam Ervin IV was marked by several outside groups that backed Newby collecting at least $2 million for television ads and mailers. While officially nonpartisan, an Ervin win would mean four of the seven justices are Democratic by voter registration. The state's highest court would remain 4-3 Republican with a Newby victory. The court is expected to hear redistricting litigation in the near future.
Associated Press writers Allen G. Breed in Apex and Jeffrey Collins in Zebulon contributed to this report.