The Polls Are Open

A long election comes to a close Tuesday, unless it doesn't

A campaign that has lasted more than two years comes to a close Tuesday, but with the election so close, we can only hope a decision is reached by the end of the night. Here's a roundup of election-day information:

  • Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Staff who are registered voters and unable to vote outside of regular work hours should be granted scheduled time off with or without pay. Time with pay can be granted for up to two hours with payment occurring through vacation or the Short-Term Bank for the purpose of voting in local, municipal, state, or national elections. Click here for the full elections policy. And if you aren't certain of where to vote, here's a link to the Durham County Board of Elections.
  • Duke faculty, staff and students have several on-campus choices for watching the results.  Lilly Library, which has held several debate viewing parties, invites members of the Duke community to the Thomas Room for a faculty panel discussion and viewing party beginning at 8 p.m. Meanwhile, at the Sanford School, the public policy majors union invites the community to watch the results in the Sanford's Fleishman Commons.  And the Mary Lou Williams Center will be open for watching the results as well. And election results will be broadcast across the media board in Duke University Libraries' Link.
  • If you haven't had enough of the election, faculty members Peter Feaver and Bruce Jentleson will provide the day-after analysis of the results in Lilly Library on Wednesday.
  • Then next week, the Sanford School of Public Policy will hold two discussions assessing key aspects of the election.  At 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, pollster John Zogby will talk on "Did Minorities Matter? Their Impact on the 2012 Elections."
 On Nov. 17 at 1 p.m., a collection of political reporters will review the election results as part of the annual Zeidman Colloquium. Panelists will include John Dickerson, chief political correspondent for Slate magazine and political director of CBS News; Nia-Malika Henderson, national political reporter for The Washington Post (and Duke alumna T 91); and Ben Smith, Editor-in-Chief,

The Issues

For you still undecided voters, here's a collection of Duke faculty discussing several key campaign issues.

Foreign Policy:  Bruce Jentleson says President Obama has the country on the right direction to deal with a most prominent foreign policy challenges.  On American power, leadership and the domestic foundations of America's global role, "Obama's approach to foreign policy bests Romney's on all three counts," he says.

Not so, says Peter Feaver.  The political scientist with expertise on American grand strategy says Obama's foreign policy lacks strategy and backbone and that "Romney appears to be more presidential."

Health Care: Public Policy Professor Don Taylor makes the case for "Obamacare" as the best tool for containing rising health care costs and providing a moderate solution to expanding health coverage. "If you want a sustainable budget, the best course of action is to stay the course," he says.

North Carolina: Is our state a swing state to be regularly fought over in presidential elections or are we part of a solid Southern block?  Political Scientist Michael Munger, a former candidate for governor, discusses the singular electoral history of the Tar Heel State.

Women: Duke Law's Neil Siegel writes about the election's impact on contraception and abortion laws.

Class: Sanford School's Nick Carnes says elections offer some choices, but in the end we seem to be choosing between millionaires.  

Political Polarization.  New faculty member Luke Bretherton, who arrived from England, says he's struck that American elections are so contentious when the two parties share many similarities.  He wonders whether the election clashes are damaging society.