Policy Expert Offers Tips for Smart Voting

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. It’s a “blue moon” election, which means that every so often we have a midterm or off-year election with no statewide candidate for office at the top of the ticket.

Typically, fewer people vote in midterm elections. Every election is important and this one is no different.

Voting is a social activity; it’s one thing we can all do as a society to make our voice heard. Here are four tips for preparing to vote:

1. Make sure you are registered to vote, and remind your friends and family to register, too.  Check your registration anytime at your local county office or the North Carolina State Board of Elections, whose website provides a link to see exactly how your ballot will look. You can use the site to locate your polling place, too. If you discover you are not registered, use in-person early voting sites to register as a same-day registration voter; check your county’s Board of Elections sites for ID requirements.

2. Know what’s on the ballot. A little research now can help you at the ballot box. You can search each candidate’s website for information, or check your county party organizations for information. Most offer voter guides to help you figure it out.

3. Learn about the six amendments to the North Carolina Constitution on this year’s ballot. Check your local or state party organizations for information on their views of these amendments. The North Carolina General Assembly provides the amendments’ full language.  Or read the parties’ stances:

4. Know where to go to vote, and do it. In North Carolina, one-stop voting is available Oct. 17 to Nov. 3 at these locations. Your voter registration informs you where your Election Day polling place is located. Check your registration to make sure you go to the right spot.

Words: Mary Jo McGowan Shepherd, lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, teaching courses in international, comparative politics and public policy.

Note, the 49er Democracy Experience is providing student shuttles to polls; learn more.

Skip to toolbar