Absentee voting by mail has started, ballot request deadline is Feb 25. Details here.
Just caught this if you're in Raleigh on Fri, Feb 7, 11:15am at the Legislative Building: Demand Democracy and Confront Corruption, co-sponsored by Common Cause NC, North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections, NC Black Alliance, and Progress NC. Strikes me that confronting corruption is a major issue!
So you've checked your voter registration and know what districts you're in for various national, state, and local elections. You know that voter ID is NOT needed for the March primary. Now let's find out who's running for what in YOUR districts and any other districts you're interested in.
- The easiest tool for personal use is your sample ballot, which is available through the NC State Board of Elections (NCSBE) Voter Search page. Enter the requested information, click on your name, scroll down to sample ballots, and click on 3/3/2020. That's your sample ballot with all the offices and candidates who are running in your districts.
- You also can find a sample ballot PLUS more candidate info and questionnaire responses on the League of Women Voters Vote411 site.
- For a bigger picture of the state or to find candidates in other districts, the NCSBE posts comprehensive statewide lists of 2020 primary candidates here. There are different tables for statewide and county races. Counties may contain multiple districts.
- The NC Free Enterprise Foundation 2020 candidate tracker, tab Candidate Filings, includes all candidates who have filed for US House (NC) and NCGA Senate (SD) and House (HD) seats. No local races on this one, but you can find other interesting info (e.g., PAC contributions).
Need a reminder about what people in offices like the Commissioner of Agriculture and State Auditor actually do? Find brief descriptions of major state and local offices (including the crucial judicial roles) at You Can Vote and Democracy NC. Dive into the Dept of Public Instruction and Superindent race in Michelle's recent post.
For more about local offices, check these posts from 2018 - but ignore the primary date and remember that not all these races will be on your specific 2020 ballot:
Do your research
We're flooded with news, information, and MISinformation about national candidates, but what about candidates for state and local offices who you've never heard of?
- You probably can find at least a campaign website and/or campaign Facebook page for most candidates. Thanks to algorithms, you may have to click onto the second page of search results. If you can't find anything by the third page, that's a red flag about the candidate, IMO.
- Most incumbents will have a Ballotpedia entry; search by the incumbent's name to see voting records, legislative committees they're on, who their donors are, and what they've done in office.
- For incumbent NC General Assembly legislators, you can find their official legislative pages on the website from the search bar in the top right corner (change pull down menu from bills to members) if you know their name or use find your legislators. Click on the tabs to see how they voted, what committees they're on, and what bills they've introduced or co-sponsored.
- As the election approaches, you're likely to see endorsements from a variety of sources, most of them partisan or special interest. Know what you're looking at, look for specifics more than vague generalizations, and be a savvy consumer.
- Attend town halls, and contact candidates directly via phone/email/Facebook. Ask them questions, and tell them what's most important to YOU - the environment, health care, education, fair districts, jobs, taxes, whatever it is.
Be alert for fake news and fake campaign sites
- Here's a recent list of the best national fact-checking sites.
- NC is being targeted for fake news sites, check the list in this article to be sure what you're reading isn't on it!
- Check this NPR piece on how to spot 2020 election disinformation. More fake news is just what we DON'T need, right?
- Look for recent posts and up-to-date information on campaign websites, check each page, as well as Facebook and Twitter links, and be alert for fishy-sounding quotes and misinformation.
- If you find something that doesn't seem right, alert the candidate or the appropriate party office in your county.
- In the 2018 election, Linda Coleman, who ran against incumbent George Holding in the 2nd US Congressional district, discovered that a lapsed domain name from a previous campaign had been revived and a new website posted - apparently by a Russian.
- Be a savvy searcher!
Check out these previous posts:
- Get ready to vote: Be sure you're registered and find your districts
- The primary is coming, what's a primary?
Tags: (2020 elections, NCGA, NCPol)
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