Lisa Hazirjian, Ph.D., Win Together Consulting
You’ve looked up your sample ballot, you’ve decided on your candidates, and early voting has begun. Now, it’s time to make a voting plan. Here’s all you need to do:
- Find a complete list of all the early voting options in the North Carolina county where you reside. During the early voting period, you can vote at ANY early voting location in your home county, on any day they’re open.
- Think about which voting sites might be most convenient for you to get to during the normal course of your week. For example:
- Is there an early voting site near your child’s school?
- Is there one near the grocery store?
- Which early voting sites are along your bus route?
- Once you’ve thought about what location is going to be most convenient for you, look at your schedule for the next few days and pick a time when you can get there during their hours of operation. (Note: In counties with multiple early voting sites, hours may vary from site to site.) Put it on your calendar, just like you would with any other appointment or errand you needed to schedule. Doing so makes voting a priority and ensures you have a time set aside to do it.
- One last step that could save you some trouble: Check the NC Board of Elections website to make sure your voter registration is up to date. If you don’t see yourself listed at your current address, that’s okay; during North Carolina’s one stop early voting period, any eligible voter can register and vote at any early voting site in their county of residence. If you need to register as well as vote, be sure to check the complete, official information about how to take advantage of this great provision in NC’s voting laws.
Here’s an example of how Joe Fictional in Alamance County would follow these steps to make a voting plan:
Joe lives in Swepsonville and currently works remotely for a local nonprofit. He’s ready to vote, so he looks up the Alamance County early voting sites. Turns out neither of them is particularly convenient to his home. However, he needs to get over to the DMV in Graham next week, and there’s an early voting site a couple of miles away at the Graham Recreation Center that’s open 8 am to 7:30 pm.
Joe realizes that it would be most convenient for him to vote after finishing up his business at the DMV. He looks at his work schedule sees that he has no meetings after 2 pm on Thursday. The DMV is open until 5 pm, and early voting is open until 7:30 pm, so he decides he’ll leave work early that day, go to the DMV, and then vote before coming home. He blocks out the time on his calendar, and saves a link to a map to get him from DMV to the early voting site, just in case.
Joe has lived in the same place for a while, but he missed a few elections, so he looks himself up on the Board of Elections website. Wouldn’t you know it, he cannot find a record of his registration. Good thing he checked – and good thing he knows that he can register and vote in one stop at the early voting site simply by showing an accepted document with his current name and address (like his driver’s license) and filling out the registration form.
Once you’ve made a voting plan for yourself, help others at your nonprofit to make their own voting plans (and in other parts of your life, too!). You can share this blog - or print these early voting planners to help coworkers, clients, and others at your nonprofit to come up with their own plans!
Lisa Hazirjian, PhD, founded Win Together Consulting to help nonprofits, campaigns, and social justice organizations to develop strategy, build capacity, engage supporters, and leverage strengths to achieve their goals. She holds a bachelors degree in public policy studies, graduate certificate in women’s studies, and Ph.D. in U.S. history from Duke University, and is working toward a Nonprofit Leadership Certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School.