North Carolina — North Carolina voters are more likely than those in other states to cast ballots in national elections without making a choice for president.
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.
The split between presidential and straight-party votes has brought the state national attention this year because the margin between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain is expected to be close, and North Carolina's electoral votes would be a prize for either candidate.
An unusually high percentage of people in the state who voted in the past two national elections failed to mark a presidential selection.
An analysis of election returns found that 3.15 percent of voters in North Carolina didn't vote for president in 2000, and 2.57 percent didn't cast a presidential vote in 2004.