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What You Need To Know For The 2018 Midterm Election

Erin Keever

Early voting started Oct. 17 for the 2018 midterm election in North Carolina. The general election will take place Tuesday, Nov. 6. Here’s what voters in Mecklenburg County need to know in order to prepare.

Important Dates:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 17 - Saturday, Nov. 3: Early voting, or one-stop voting, begins Oct. 17 and lasts until Nov. 3.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 30: The deadline to request a mail-in absentee ballot is Oct. 30. (All requests must be received by the county board of elections office by 5 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, Nov. 6: The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6.

What is one-stop early voting?

One-stop early voting allows a registered voter to cast an absentee ballot in person before Election Day. The early voting period began on Oct. 17 and will last through Nov. 3.

During this period, registered voters do not have to go to their specific precinct to vote (like voters must do on Election Day). Voters can go to any one-stop site during this period. You can find the one-stop sites near you here.

For one-stop voting, you will need to prove your eligibility and proof of residence by presenting any of the following documents showing your current name and address: a North Carolina driver’s license, photo identification issued by a government agency, copy of current bills or bank statements (that shows your name and address), or a current college photo identification card paired with proof of campus residence.

Can I still change my voter registration?

No, any changes made to your voter registration need to have been done during the voter registration deadline (Oct. 12 for regular voters and Oct. 15 for voters in Florence-devastated areas). Change of address or party affiliation can be updated by downloading the voter registration form here, updating your information and sending it to your local county board of election during the registration period.

What if I have moved?

If you moved more than 30 days before an election, you must update your voter registration information by filling out the registration form and sending it to your county board of elections. The updated form must be received by the county board before the registration deadline (Oct. 12 for regular voters and Oct. 15 for voters in Florence-devastated areas).

If you moved fewer than 30 days before an election, you are only eligible to vote in your prior polling place — even if you’ve moved outside of the county.

Where do I go to vote on Election Day?

Look up your polling location by entering your address here.

Where can I find my sample ballot?

You can view your sample ballot by submitting your address here.

Do I need to bring identification with me to vote?

Not when you vote in person on Election Day. In July, a North Carolina court struck down a law requiring photo identification to vote. (The issue of voter ID requirements will go before voters as a constitutional amendment on the November ballot.)

There are two situations requiring photo identification and proof of residence (a document like a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government document) to vote:

  • If you go to a one-stop early voting location.
  • If there is a problem with your voter registration form (you would have been notified of the issue by the county board of elections).
The Charlotte skyline.
Credit Flickr/Charlie Cowins

What local races will be on the November Ballot?

Residents in Mecklenburg County will be asked to vote for candidates on the board of county commissioners. Voters in District 1, 5 and 6 will be asked to choose a candidate for those seats. All voters in Mecklenburg County will be asked to vote on three at-large seats. 

Charlotte residents will see three categories of voting bonds on the ballot: $118.08 million in transportation bonds, $50 million in housing bonds and $55 million in neighborhood improvement bonds.

For information on the County Commissioners race, click here. For detailed information on the Charlotte bonds, click here.

Credit Nick de la Canal / WFAE
State legislative building in Raleigh.

What statewide races should I watch?

There are 12 House districts within Mecklenburg County and five Senate districts. Democrats view the midterm election as crucial to breaking the Republican supermajority in the North Carolina General Assembly. Right now, Republicans have enough representatives in the General Assembly to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper if he vetoes their legislation. Democrats are trying to change that by identifying key districts throughout the state that they could flip.

North Carolina Democrats have their eyes on House Districts 98, 104 and 105 and Senate District 41 — all within Mecklenburg County.

Find detailed information on the statewide races here.

United States Capitol.

What Congressional races will be on the ballot?

Mecklenburg County is split between two Congressional districts: Districts 9 and 12. District 9’s race between Republican Mark Harris and Democrat Dan McCready has garnered national attention as Democrats try to flip a seat that has been held by Republicans since 1963. District 12 incumbent and Democrat Alma Adams is running for re-election against Republican Paul Wright in a majority Democratic district. She received 85 percent of the votes in the primary.

Eyes are also on District 13, north of Mecklenburg, as Republican Tedd Budd looks to fend off Democrat Kathy Manning in what’s shaping up to be a close race.

Find more details on key Congressional races here.

Credit Jess Clark / WUNC
North Carolina Supreme Court building.

What do I need to know about judicial elections and the constitutional amendments that will be on the November ballot?

North Carolina voters will get the chance to elect justices to the state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. North Carolinians will also be asked if they’re for or against six proposed amendments to the state Constitution.

The constitutional amendments address hunting and fishing, victims’ rights, capping the state income tax, implementing a voter ID law, and changes to the process of judicial elections and appointments to state boards. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, along with the North Carolina branch of the NAACP, sued twice to keep four of the proposed amendments off the ballot. Both lawsuits were denied by the state Supreme Court.

Find a list of the candidates running for state courts and a detailed explanation of the proposed amendments here.

Jessa O’Connor was an assistant digital news editor and Sunday reporter for WFAE.