Midterm elections: What you’ll be voting on and why you need to hit the polls

2012 VOTE JE VDA 11/06/12 FRESNO - Assemblymember Henry T. Perea voted at The Big Red Church on Election Day. His daughter Ava accompanied him.
2012 VOTE JE VDA 11/06/12 FRESNO - Assemblymember Henry T. Perea voted at The Big Red Church on Election Day. His daughter Ava accompanied him. Vida en el Valle

You know that midterm elections are taking place on Nov. 6 (early voting continues through Nov. 3 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. — see our guide here), but do you know who’s actually on the ballot and the issues you’ll be voting on?

Sallie and Alicia sat down with Charlotte Observer reporter Ely Portillo to talk about these topics and much more on the CharlotteFive Podcast. Tune in…

Alicia: “Why should people get out to the polls to vote for midterm elections?”

Ely: “This is what’s called a Blue Moon election by political observers in North Carolina, and that means there’s no national, statewide or any of those races on the ballot…The highest race on the ballot for most people will be their congressional representative, that’s the only federal office. So voter turnout can be very low in those years because there’s not really a marquee name for people to say, ‘Oh I’m going to vote for or against that person.’ So you kind of have to look at a few other topics. One of those is control of the U.S. House of Representatives. If you live in southeast Charlotte or up in the Iredell-Mooresville area, you are likely in the 9th or the 13th Congressional District, which are both highly competitive seats where Democrats could pick up a Republican-held district. This could actually determine who controls the House of Representatives.”

RELATEDThe C5 guide to midterm elections: your voter registration status, dates to know, where to vote and more

How do I register to vote in North Carolina?

You can register to vote online here. Then print your application and mail it to the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections at 741 Kenilworth Ave. Ste. 202.

It only takes about two minutes to register. And bonus: you’re not going to need any additional documents, since the state will confirm your citizenship and eligibility using the license number you provide along with the last four digits of your SSN.

Just know that you will NOT be eligible to vote in North Carolina unless you’ve lived in the state for at least 30 days prior to registering to vote. Find out more about your voter eligibility here.

Here’s a brief list of what will be on the ballot:

  • North Carolina General Assembly: All 120 seats in the NC House of Representatives and all 50 seats in the NC Senate are up for election this November, and almost every single one is being contested.
  • U.S. House of Representatives: All North Carolinians live in one of the 13 districts that are all up for election this year.
  • North Carolina Supreme Court: Democratic challenger Anita Earls faces two Republicans, the incumbent Justice Barbara Jackson as well as challenger Anglin.
  • Constitutional amendments: All six amendments that legislators wanted will be on the ballot. (More from the Charlotte Observer here.)
  • North Carolina Court of Appeals: There are 15 judges on this court, and three seats are up for election this year.
  • Various Local Races: For Charlotte, this includes elections for Sheriff, Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor, Clerk of Superior Court and more. Full list here.

Where do I go to vote?

You can use this link to find out your polling place based on your address.

Note that this will be based on the address at which you are registered to vote.

What if I can’t make it to an official polling station on Nov. 6?

Option 1: You can vote early.

Busy on election day? Through Saturday, Nov. 3, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., you can make your way to any of these 19 early voting locations in Mecklenburg County to cast your vote.

Option 2: You can mail in an absentee ballot.

If you’re not going to be in Mecklenburg County at ALL during the early voting period or on election day, but you’re still registered to vote here, you can submit an absentee ballot request. The absentee ballot request deadline is Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 5 p.m.

You (the voter) or one of your near-relatives or legal guardians can simply use the State Absentee Ballot Request form to request an absentee ballot. Once you’ve completed the request form, either email it to or deliver it in person to the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections at 741 Kenilworth Ave. Ste. 202.

Once your valid request form is received, the county board of elections office will mail the voter absentee balloting materials and instructions to the address you provided. The voted ballot (contained inside of the container-return envelope) must be returned to the county board of elections no later than 5 p.m. on election day.

More details on absentee voting here.

The CharlotteFive Podcast — powered by OrthoCarolina — is a weekly city guide podcast that aims to deliver interesting and useful news about Charlotte. It’s hosted by Sallie Funderburk and Alicia Thomas and is a production of The Charlotte Observer and Brian Baltosiewich.

You can follow us on Twitter @CharlotteFive, on Instagram @cltfive, and on Facebook. If you have any feedback, shoot us an email to

Photo: Charlotte Observer