The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday February 28th

Column: You told us what you wanted from our election coverage. Here's what happened.

Sonia Rao is the city & state desk editor for the 2020-2021 school year.
Buy Photos Sonia Rao is the city & state desk editor for the 2020-2021 school year.

The election is Tuesday, but The Daily Tar Heel's coverage began months ago. 

During our coverage of the March primary, the DTH decided to try something new with our election coverage: asking our readers what they wanted to read about. 

We spread a survey asking UNC students what issues they cared the most about, and what formats they wanted election-related stories to be in. 

The survey received over 70 responses. Respondents told us obstacles that prevented them from voting included voting taking too long and not knowing who's on the ballot. 

We focused a significant amount of our coverage on how to vote by mail, early and in person, through articles and infographics on social media. 

Issues respondents told us they cared about included health care, education/student debt, civil rights, wages and labor, LGBTQ rights and policies and the environment. 

Our 2020 Voter Guide profiled where candidates down the ballot stand on these issues. 

We also worked with six other student newsrooms in North Carolina through a collaborative called One Vote N.C. to produce an online and print voter guide profiling N.C. General Assembly candidates across the state. We asked each candidate five questions students told us they wanted to know the answer to, including what the candidates look for in UNC System Board of Governors candidates and how they're approaching the issue of student debt. 

We also created election-related stories in nontraditional formats. 

We launched an eight-episode podcast, called Before You Vote, about what students in North Carolina should know about voting. The podcast discusses how races down the ballot impact students, how to vote in North Carolina and how student leaders are working to engage young and minority voters. 

We've written data stories about topics like voter turnout, with interactive maps and data elements. 

We hope that our stories have helped empower students and North Carolinians to vote. But our coverage isn't over yet. 

On Election Day, DTH reporters will be at polling places, at election parties and reporting unofficial results live as they come in. Our reporting will be based off of data from the N.C. Board of Elections and what voters at the polls have told us. 

If there are still questions you want us to answer before, during or after Election Day, let us know. If you encounter long lines or a problem with your ballot, we want to know. You can text "ASK DTH" to 73-224, send us an email at city@dailytarheel.com or find us on Twitter @DTHCityState.

Election Day is Nov. 3. If you haven't voted yet and are registered to vote in North Carolina, polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. You can find your polling place at the State Board of Elections' voter registration lookup tool. You are not required to bring photo ID to your polling location. 

Happy voting!

@sonjarao

@DTHCityState | city@dailytarheel.com

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