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The Daily Tar Heel

Editorial: The ultimate get-off-your-behind-and-go-vote guide

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POLI 101 feeling a little more tedious? Political ads taking over your TV? Conversations with your parents tenser than usual? Election Day is upon us.

More specifically, a midterm election. Midterms happen two years into a presidential term, and there are important seats up for grabs on this year’s ballot.

I know what you’re thinking.

“I’m busy with midterms that actually impact my GPA.”

“Are we sure my vote actually counts?”

“I don’t know how!”

Rest assured, the Editorial Board has been there. But in a post-Roe country, reproductive rights, protections for LGBTQ+ individuals and medical autonomy are all on the line – the days of being an electoral pessimist are over.

No matter how futile the dumpster fire of a political climate may make it seem, voting is more important now than ever before.

So, if you haven’t made a plan to vote, now is the time. So get up, grab a pen and get ready to make your voice heard. 

Mark your calendars

  • The voter registration deadline is Oct. 14. You can register in person at the DMV, via the online application or by mail. If you wish to register by mail, fill out the Registration Application (Access the Spanish version here.) Not sure if you’re registered? Search the voter registry!
  • The early voting period begins Oct. 20 and ends Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. This is also called “one-stop early voting.” Find an early voting spot in your county here.
  • Voting by mail? The deadline to request your absentee ballot is Nov. 1. Request online via the Absentee Ballot Portal or by mail via this form. (Access the Spanish version here). Track your absentee ballot through the mail using BallotTrax.
  • Show up to vote at a designated voting location on Nov. 8. Absentee ballots must be turned in to your county’s board of elections office or postmarked by this date.

Know the seats at stake

There’s a lot up for grabs this midterm cycle. We made it easy and compiled seats that the Editorial Board thinks are the most consequential. Check out our list and begin exploring candidate’s platforms for the races you care about.

Still with us? Congratulations on taking the first steps towards being a participatory member in our democracy. You're doing great.

Whether this is the first time you've ever cast your ballot or the poll workers know you by name, we hope this guide is a helpful stepping stone into what will be a tumultuous – yet exciting! – midterm season.


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