Voting: that’s hot!

How and why you should vote in the 2022 midterms


Maryam Khanum

While the marquee race of the midterms in North Carolina is the Senate race, there are other national and local races that are important.

Sally Pendergrass, Contributing Columnist

Midterm elections are fast approaching, and this year, your voice is more important than ever. By registering to vote, you have the opportunity to participate in democracy and exercise your power over policy decisions made at the federal and state level. The voter registration process is quick and free, making it easy for Wake Forest students to become active members of democracy without impeding our precious studying time.

But why should we care?

In my opinion, the greatest issue by far in this election cycle is abortion. Reproductive rights are on the ballot this November. 

The Republican legislature in North Carolina has previously introduced House Bill 158 (HB 158)— a piece of legislation that would allow citizens to use “deadly force” upon people who terminate pregnancies after the moment of fertilization. If it had been passed, this bill would have excused the first-degree murder of a grown adult if they chose to abort a fetus at even the earliest stage of impregnation — Republicans in the North Carolina House of Representatives have become so “pro-life” that they support killing people. While HB 158 will no longer exist after the new legislature is elected in January, it could be introduced under a new name, and if there is a Republican supermajority, Roy Cooper would not be able to veto bills that take away reproductive rights. 

North Carolina is a battleground state, with a Republican-controlled legislature and a Democratic governor. Republicans are two seats shy of a supermajority in the N.C. Senate and three seats shy in the House. If Republicans secure a supermajority, they would have the ability to override Roy Cooper’s veto without support from Democrats, posing a threat to statewide abortion access. There are 14 House seats and one Senate seat up for election on November 8 as well as several state House seats whose winners will determine whether or not House Bill 158 is passed.

Another one of the driving issues in the 2022 midterm elections is the economy. The rapid inflation that we have experienced in recent years has become a top priority for North Carolina residents. While Republicans blame Democrats and the Biden Administration for the rising prices of gas and other products, Democrats take credit for job growth in North Carolina through their investment in public education and workers’ rights. Throughout the past year, inflation has slowly taken a turn in the right direction: down. However, this has been a slow-moving, gradual change, taking a toll on working-class Americans, prompting citizens to cast their vote economically this November.

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Besides the General Assembly, Senate and House seats, other offices up for election in North Carolina include the state Supreme Court, local judges, sheriffs and county commissioners. While these seats may seem small and insignificant, they are all essential to shaping our state’s current and future political landscape.

The 2022 General Election will occur on November 8, with online voter registration closing on October 14. Online registration is incredibly simple, taking an average of only two minutes to complete. Visit the registration website and fill out the required boxes to apply for a Voter Registration Card by October 14. After this deadline, North Carolinians can continue to register by attending One-Stop Early Voting, beginning on October 20 and closing on November 5. If you will not be able to attend the polls in person or wish to vote in your home state, absentee ballot requests will be available until November 1.

Registered voters will be able to find their designated polling location on their Voter Registration Card, which can be found either online or in their Wake Forest P.O. box. Due to Forsyth County lines, the Reynolda Campus is split into two voting districts, so double-check your card to ensure that you arrive at the correct site on November 8. If you decide to participate in early voting, Winston-Salem First Assembly of God Church is the closest site to campus, but you can attend any of the Forsyth County designated polling locations for one-stop early voting. You will also need to bring proof of residency with you to one-stop voting. On-campus students can attain a printable proof of residency document through the Wake Forest housing portal and must bring their DeaconOne Card with them to vote. Off-campus students can bring any current utility bills, bank statements or government documents with them to early voting as proof of residency.

Exercise your civic duty this November by casting your vote for reproductive rights, economic well-being and North Carolina’s political future. Every vote counts and registering is painless and free — what college student doesn’t like free stuff?! Become involved in democracy and remember: hot people register to vote.