Prepare to vote at the WNC
Although the November elections may seem a long way off, many national and local contests face a field of competition for the primary elections on Tuesday, May 17. Early voting begins April 28and.
AN EARLY VOTING WINDOW
Early voting will take place from April 28 to May 14, 2022. Find your early voting location here.
Gerry Cohen, a Duke University election law professor who sits on the Wake County Board of Elections, says there are a similar number of primary polling places compared to 2018. But now more polling places will be open later.
“The Legislature practically required that, except in a few very small counties, there be at least 12 weekdays open until 7:30 p.m. and at least one Saturday,” Cohen said.
The number of polling stations and the hours available to vote are different in each county. During early voting, voters can vote at any early voting site in their county. You can also register and vote the same day.
“About 30 counties — in the state of 100 — will have Sunday voting for the primary and in the Blue Ridge-like area, Buncombe is the only one voting on Sundays,” Cohen said.
From April 28 to May 14, you can register to vote and vote at a one-stop early voting booth.
if you want to vote on primary election day, you must register to vote by April 22n/a.
On the day of the primary election, May 17andregistered voters must vote at the polling station assigned to them in their constituency. You can find your polling place here.
Recent fraud allegations against former Congressman Mark Meadows have focused on his own voter registration.
Meadows is currently being investigated for voter fraud over an allegation that he never lived at the Scaly Mountain address he listed on his voter registration prior to the 2020 election.
Macon Board of Elections Director Melanie Thibault said she was unaware that Meadows was on their voters rolls. She advises anyone with questions about voter fraud to get involved with their local election commission.
“I would encourage them to get involved in some way with the electoral process: working at the polls on election day, working at one-stop-shop for advance voting, attending board meetings (schedule on our website), contact their party presidents,” Thibault said in an email.
Postal ballots are available for everyone. No special circumstances or reasons are necessary. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is May 10.
Director of Western Carolina University’s Public Policy Institute, Chris Cooper, said in 2020 about 20% of ballots were cast by mail.
“I’m very curious to see: does 2022 look more like it was in 2018, where it was a very small percentage of the electorate? Or have people decided they like to vote by mail like they did in 2020? And do we see a further increase in postal voting in 2022? Cooper said.
Cooper explains that once you vote by mail, you cannot vote in person on Election Day.
“It’s a secure system and once you’ve voted by mail and it’s registered, you can’t vote any other way,” Cooper said.
Cohen says he thinks there will be fewer mail-in ballots this year.
“While there are still significant health concerns, I think there is less concern about in-person voting than there certainly was before the 2020 vaccine,” Cohen said.
You can also vote at the curb on election day if you cannot enter the polling station without assistance or due to a disability including an increased risk of COVID-19.
Voter turnout in a non-presidential election year is always lower. However, there are some very competitive races this year that could bring voters to the polls.
Gerry Cohen points out local sheriff runs.
“Typically, sheriff races in North Carolina – whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican – primaries tend to be a big draw, especially in more rural counties,” a said Cohen.
Cooper, has his sights set on two races.
“So across the state, it’s clear that the U.S. Senate race for the Republican side is a big messy, competitive domain. And of course, in NC-11, it couldn’t be more interesting and nationally relevant. We have eight contestants, Madison Cawthorn plus seven challengers competing against each other. So I expect that kind of competitiveness to attract higher turnout on the Republican side,” Cooper said.
This week, NC Sen. Thom Tillis and other Republicans endorsed Sen. Chuck Edwards in the primary race following comments Cawthorn made about sex parties and drugs in Washington.
Since March 2022, there are 2.5 million unaffiliated voters in North Carolina out of more than 7.2 million registered voters. Those votes now make up the largest constituency in the state — more than Democrats or Republicans.
Cooper explains that these voters will have a lot of power in the primary election.
“So that means those unaffiliated voters have a choice. They don’t need to vote in the Democratic or Republican primary. They can choose the Democratic or Republican primary, and we don’t have a good idea what they’ll decide, but it makes sense that they’re more likely to choose the R in the primary this time around because of the areas the most competitive,” Cooper said.
This trend has continued since 2005 as the number of unaffiliated voters in the state has continued to grow. Be unaffiliated to vote in the Democratic or Republican primaries instead of being relegated to the party you belong to.
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