The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday November 29th

Column: DTH voter guide is different from our editorial board's endorsements


Editor-in-chief Jane Wester

In today’s paper, you’ll find two pages devoted to the November election. On page 3, we have a voter guide with information about most of the candidates on the Orange County ballot. Five pages later, you’ll find the second half of our editorial board’s candidate endorsements.

This may be confusing. I remember covering UNC’s student body president elections as a first-year and being frustrated when somebody asked me why we’d cover the campaigns when “the DTH already took a side” by endorsing one candidate.

Our state and national desk created the voter guide, and they most definitely have not taken a side — but I understand why people are curious about how we (and most other newspapers) can endorse candidates and also report fairly on the election cycle.

Here’s how our newsroom is laid out: on one side of my desk, there’s a big, chaotic newsroom full of reporters and photographers who create everything you see outside the opinion page. On the other side, we have a little closet where the editorial board — also known as opinion desk — works.

This separation is intentional. I don’t want anyone to get confused about whether we’re trying to express an opinion in print. Avoiding bias altogether is impossible, but our news staffers spend tremendous time and energy trying to include all sides and present a fair picture of this community.

The editorial board is also interested in hearing all sides, but in the end, they take a vote and write editorials supporting one argument. That’s how we came up with endorsements, too — read Opinion Editor Tyler Fleming’s Friday column for more information on that.

We put the voter guide and the endorsements in the same paper so that you can easily take it with you to the polls — whether you agree with the editorial board’s picks or not.

That brings me to the most important thing you can do all year. If you’re a U.S. citizen over 18 and you’re not in jail or on probation or parole for a felony, please vote.

Early voting in Orange County starts Thursday and continues until Nov. 5. If you said no to the clipboard-holders too many times and forgot to register, you can still register at early voting. Chapel of the Cross is the closest site to campus, and Carrboro Town Hall is also open. Go to for all the locations.

Election Day is Nov. 8. You need to be registered to vote that day, and you enter your address to find your precinct at

If you need some motivation, pull up Hamilton on Spotify:

“We studied and we fought and we killed for the notion of a nation we now get to build.”

We’re still building this nation. As my History of Cuba professor tells me twice a week, democracy is a means, not an end. We have to act in order to enjoy the massive privilege that is a voice in our government.



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