The Importance of Voting and N.C. Voter Resources
Written by: Miranda Owen
Miranda Owen is one of NAMI Wake’s work study students, helping us as a social media technician and blog contributor.
In honor of last week’s National Voter Registration Day and the upcoming 2020 General Election, I wanted to remind all of our readers the importance of voting in this election, and registering to vote on time.
Voter turnout in America is lower than in any other democracy across the world. As American citizens we can ensure our own representation and fight for change by getting out to vote. Voting in the General Election is especially important for North Carolina residents. North Carolina is a swing state. Electoral votes, cast by electors who represent the N.C. popular vote (our citizen votes) have a direct impact on the outcome of the presidential election. As citizens, our vote has the power to determine the next U.S. president. State and local elections are equally important. They give all citizens the chance to impact their local schools, give attention to issues that matter, how North Carolina is represented federally, and more. It’s important that all citizens are aware of the candidates and issues and vote according to their best interest.
In North Carolina, you can update your voter registration or register for the first time in-person during the early voting period only. On voting day, November 3rd, N.C. does not allow individuals to register in-person. Be sure to register to vote prior to November 3rd if you are planning to vote on that day. If you are unsure whether you are registered correctly, check your voter registration card or visit NCSBE.gov to ensure you are ready to go for election day.
Voting in North Carolina
Early voting in North Carolina begins October 15th and ends October 31st. You can find your in-person polling place located on your voter registration card or online at NCSBE.gov. North Carolinians can also request mail-in ballots up until the deadline of October 27th, also on the NCSBE website. North Carolina law gives voters the right to receive assistance in casting their ballots if necessary. If you or a loved one has a disability or otherwise needs assistance, please notify a poll worker. To find out more about North Carolina candidates, check the NCSBE website for a list of them, including local candidates. Websites like ISideWith.com and BallotReady.org list the candidates which will be on your ballot, and the candidates’ positions on important issues. Lastly, if you have trouble with any part of the voting process, check out IWillVote.com. It helps direct you to voting information based on your needs.
Vote4MentalHealth is a campaign led by NAMI to promote nonpartisan voter registration and participation and to increase discussions about mental health policy during elections. Many political issues have an effect on those with mental illnesses and it is crucial to know how different policies will affect individuals. Issues like health care and education intersect with mental health issues. Policymakers’ responses to these issues impacts mental health services and can directly impact individual lives. Before voting, look into how electoral candidates are taking action for mental health. Learn more about educating and engaging your policymakers on the #Vote4MentalHealth website. You can get involved as an advocate by sharing #Vote4MentalHealth on social media and encouraging friends and family members to get registered and vote.