WE NEED YOUR HELP! PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO "KEEP THE LIGHTS ON" THRU 11/3/2020! Don't need the details? Contribute here. Need the details? Find them here. THANKS for giving what you can and sharing!

March 4, 2020, 5:30pm-6:30pm, 310 New Bern Ave, Raleigh (Federal Building),
My Right, My Decision Rally, sponsored by NARAL Pro-Choice Raleigh. On March 4, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the next major abortion rights case, "June Medical Services v. Russo." This case could shape the future of abortion access in the U.S. Join us in front of Senator Tillis' office to show your support for abortion access and reproductive rights!

It's almost here - PRIMARY ELECTION DAY IS MARCH 3! You have until February 29 to vote early, which is critical if you need to register to vote or update your registration (e.g., you've moved >30 days before March 3 - even if you're in the same precinct - or your name has changed). More on early voting here, with links to early voting polling places and schedules.

Check this Carolina Public Press post for answers to 18 frequent questions about 2020 elections in NC. Photo ID is NOT needed to vote in the primary election!

Need a ride to the polls? Lyft is offering free rides for primary and election day voters! Learn more here. Uber had a "drives the vote" to the polls program in 2018, but I can't find confirmation they're doing it this year. Worth asking your driver if you prefer Uber.

The Center for Politics at Duke University just launched a website "to serve as a central repository for North Carolina political news and information. From topical interviews to breaking news stories and current candidate polls, NC Politics 2020 contains an array of political content not found collectively on any other site." Looks like a good compilation to me, and includes a link to early voting turnout data, which is DISAPPOINTING. As of Feb 26, 383,466 early voting/absentee ballots have been cast, 5.52% of registered voters. More analysis of low early voting turnout from EQV Analytics.

From WRAL around early voting turnout: "In the 2016 primary, about 10.5 percent of registered voters cast early ballots in a shorter early-voting period. Some Democratic voters said the field of presidential candidates is just too large for them, so they're waiting as long as possible to vote to see if it narrows by next Tuesday."

Some folks just like to vote on election day, Tuesday, March 3. If that's you, make your plan NOW:

  • You must vote at your precinct polling place. If you show up at another precinct, they'll send you to your precinct or offer you a provisional ballot. If you vote provisionally at the wrong polling place, you may not be able to vote for some local races. Show up at the right place!
  • Hours are 6:30am-7:30pm. Everyone who is in line at 7:30pm must be allowed to vote. A poll official will note the last eligible person in line.
  • Do you or does someone you know have accessibility issues and need help voting? Check here. People with mobility issues should request curbside voting.
  • When you enter the polling place, you'll begin at a station where poll workers look up your name to make sure you are registered to vote. You will be required to verbally state your name, current address, and party affiliation, since this is a partisan primary. The poll worker verifies that you are registered to vote at the stated address.
  • After confirming this information, the poll worker will issue a form that you'll take to a second station. At this station, you may exchange the form for a ballot or be sent straight to a voting booth, depending on what voting machines are used in your county. The paper or electronic ballot will contain contests that match the jurisdictions of your address.
  • You'll carry your ballot to a voting booth and mark your choices by filling in bubbles with the ink pen provided or using a touch screen (boo hiss, let them know you trust paper ballots more and want paper ballots in November).
  • Poll workers will be available to assist you if you have questions.
  • VOTE THE WHOLE BALLOT, from the bottom to the top. State and local governments have a big impact on our daily lives! You'd be surprised how many people don't vote the whole ballot since the Republicans did away with straight ticket voting in 2013, check out this Flip NC post.
  • After marking your paper ballot, you'll place it into an optical scanner. The machine will read and count your choices, then it will store your ballot in a locked bin under the scanner.
  • If you used a touchscreen, you should/may get some paper printout allowing you to confirm your choices. Ask about that if you don't.

Trouble voting?

  • First, ask to speak with the precinct chief judge, most issues can be resolved quickly.
  • If that's not satisfactory, call the Voter Protection Hotline at 1-888-OUR-VOTE to talk with a voting rights expert.
  • Any eligible voter can cast a provisional ballot. Despite rumors and all its election issues over the years, NC has not had a verified issue involving provisional ballots being discarded or not counted. Don't be afraid to use a provisional ballot!
    • Voters may cast a provisional ballot if there are questions about their qualification to vote or to vote in a specific precinct (e.g., if their stated address doesn't match the address in the official record).
    • Provisional voters are given a Provisional Identification Number (PIN) to use along with their date of birth to check the status of their provisional ballot, which is posted online about 10 days after the election.
    • Provisional ballot status also can be checked by calling (919) 733-7173, (866) 522-4723, or the county board of elections office.
    • If your provisional ballot was rejected for what you believe to be an invalid reason, contact your county board of elections office to request an appeal.
    • More about provisional voting from Democracy NC and NC Board of Elections.

Don't underestimate the power of conversations with friends, family, or coworkers. Hold each other accountable. Make plans to go to the polls together. Also, there are organizations that you can still get involved with to canvass and phone bank! You can also poll greet on Election Day. Check my "what we can do" list (at the bottom of the post).

Thinking of voting for a presidential candidate who's dropped out of the race or is likely to? Check out these articles about how the NC Democratic Party awards delegates: NCDP, Charlotte Observer. It's complicated... "NC requires a candidate to receive at least 15% of the vote in order to have delegates awarded to them. Garbage votes to non-viable candidates can block out legitimate candidates.”

Wondering where to track election results on Tuesday? In addition to NC media outlets (WRAL, N&O/Charlotte Observer), you can check these:

Voting is how we participate in a civic society - be it for president, be it for a municipal election. It's the way we teach our children - in school elections - how to be citizens, and the importance of their voice. ~Loretta Lynch

Every time we go into the voting booth, we are choosing the moral and spiritual direction of our nation. That is a privilege and responsibility that should not be abdicated. ~Robert Jeffress


Tags: (2020 elections, NCGA, NCPol)

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