Many students consider themselves adequately prepared to make educated decisions regarding voting on Nov. 8 simply from media coverage of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Local politicians set the scene for bigger government, but how do students educate themselves on state-level politics when horse-race media fails to cover anything other than Clinton versus Trump? To answer that question, Demi McCoy and her pioneering “Ballot Exposé” come to the rescue.
McCoy, a third year student of the School of Divinity, immediately noticed high levels of controversy over the pressing issues of North Carolina laws when she moved to Winston-Salem.
This is where her involvement in state and local affairs began, resting on the knowledge that many ill informed people focus only on the big names on the ballot and skip over or randomly vote for local politicians. This led McCoy to propose the idea of hosting the “Ballot Exposé” to the Divinity School, and her vision became a reality on Oct. 11, 2016.
“[For] students, this is their home for the next four years,” said freshman Christopher Crafton. “Knowing what these people are running for, and their beliefs are important for students to know about and vote on.”
Crafton and other students were excited to discover what the event offered when they arrived. Located in the Magnolia Room in Reynolda, the “Ballot Exposé” hosted local politicians eager to shake hands with students and provide detailed information on why you should vote, how to vote and who to vote for.
The atmosphere was conversational and comfortable. Politicians were eager to help overwhelmed students become informed on their options for voting.
Every student needs to understand the necessity of knowing who and what you are voting for locally, given the fact that your college town is your new home away from home.
“These students are going to be on campus for four years,” said freshman Spencer Fishstein. “So their opinions are going to affect the state legislation.”
The event allowed students to discover which politicians and ideals they could vote for in the upcoming election. Although all elected offices serve to benefit the North Carolina communities, some offices affect not only state politics but federal government politics as well.
If issues like education, healthcare reform, national security, innovative energy solutions and equal job opportunities catch your attention, you should vote for the local politicians who uphold similar views on Nov. 8.
If you choose to vote during the early voting period, you vote can from Oct. 20 to Nov. 5. If you did not register to vote by the Oct. 14 deadline, you can register with a photo ID at any early voting site in your area. When voting on Election Day, go to your designated precinct from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Nov. 8.
A few changes have been made to this voting process: no photo ID is required, straight ticket voting is no longer available and you are still able to vote if you accidentally arrive at the wrong precinct.
Finally, you can vote by mailing in an Absentee Ballot obtained from demnc.co/absform, postmarked in time to be received by the Board of Elections by 5 p.m. on Nov. 1.