The new political district boundaries are expected to create some confusion Tuesday as primary voters go to the polls. If there are problems, expect split voter precincts to be the culprit. Neighbors voting at the local precinct may receive very different ballots, depending on how the lines are drawn.
These numbers from the state Board of Elections help put it in context: In Rowan County, election officials will offer 316 different ballots, and in neighboring Iredell County 272 different ballots are being readied. All together, 14 different counties have about 100 different ballot styles, according to state election officials.
(The big counties: Guilford, 148; Mecklenburg, 84; Durham, 41; Wake, 40; and Cumberland, 32.)
In counties with electronic touch-screen voting, the computer to pick the correct ballot. But in other counties with optical scan machines, election officials will need to make sure voters get the right ballot.
If there are large numbers of provisional ballots, or questions on Tuesday, these counties with many different ballot styles are where the problems are likely to arise.