Editorial: Beat the Deadline, Know the Rules

Editorial: Beat the Deadline, Know the Rules
October 10
00:00 2014

There’s an important deadline coming up that too many North Carolinians don’t know about. Friday, Oct. 10 is the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 4 midterm election. The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that Same Day Voter Registration will be reinstated for this election but that decision has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. With all the changes, many advocates are urging people to meet the Oct. 10 registration deadline.

Same Day Registration allows citizens who miss the October 10 deadline to register and vote on the same day during the Early Voting period. The state legislature eliminated that policy in an elections overhaul bill in 2013, but voting rights groups challenged the new law in the courts.

“Despite the recent court ruling, we encourage citizens to register or update their voter registration by October 10,” said Bob Hall, director of the nonpartisan voting rights group Democracy North Carolina. “It is possible that the Supreme Court will overrule the Circuit Court’s decision, so the safest path is for people to act now to verify that their registration is current.” Updates to voter registration include notifying the county board of elections of any name changes and address changes that voters have experienced since the last election.

There are plenty of reasons to vote in 2014. This year, voters share responsibility for choosing a U.S. Senator, state legislators, a majority of the state Supreme Court judges, and numerous county officials. “These people make and enforce laws that affect your life every day,” said Hall. “North Carolina has seen cuts to funding for schools, cuts to healthcare and cuts in other vital services. Voting is a way to hold politicians accountable for the decisions they make.”

Hall added, “Politicians pay attention to who votes and who doesn’t. Don’t let them make a decision without consulting you. Don’t give up your power.”

Voters can cast a ballot in 2014 one of three ways: (1) Vote early between Thursday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 1; (2) vote by mail by requesting an absentee ballot by Oct. 28; or (3) vote on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 4.

No photo ID is required to vote in 2014. A poll official may ask voters if they have a photo ID, but they do not need to show an ID to vote until 2016.

Learn more about all the new voting rules at And keep this hotline number for questions about voting or if you experience problems at the polls: 888-OUR-VOTE.

Democracy North Carolina is a nonpartisan organization that uses research, organizing, and advocacy to increase voter participation, reduce the influence of big money in politics and achieve a government that is truly of the people, for the people and by the people.

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