Some candidates had their umbrellas in hand while doing some last-minute campaigning Monday, and voters can expect to need theirs at the polls today. Will a rainy Election Day forecast deter people from making the trip to cast their ballot? Many voters are hoping the rain ends before standing in what elections officials predict to be long voting lines on Tuesday. While some are concerned about it, others say rain or shine, they would not miss it for anything. "I think it'll keep people away - probably," said Joan Smith, a Wilmington local. "I don't care if it rains, I don't care if it's shiny, I don't care if its 100 degrees, I'm definitely going to vote tomorrow,” said Margot Beberaggi when asked if she would be voting Tuesday. Christy Grantham also plans to vote Tuesday and said, "Rain or not, it's tomorrow. I can't postpone it, so it is going to go down tomorrow." Not everyone may be as determined. A study in the Journal of Politics revealed rain significantly reduces voter participation by a rate of just less than one percent per inch. The research from 14 presidential elections also showed poor weather tends to benefit the Republican Party. So could there be a Republican rain dance or two before the big day? No matter what the weather will be, voters seem to be pretty passionate about casting their ballot. "This is one of the most important elections we've had in a long time and rain wouldn't deter me and I don't believe it's going to deter many other people either," said Duane Deaver. Elections officials from some local counties do not think the rain will keep voters away. They said if people are serious about voting, they will be at the polls. Pender County Board of Elections Director, Dennis Boyles, said he thinks the weather will affect today's turnout.
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