Today kicks off early in-person voting in North Carolina. You. Must. Vote.

(Here’s the list of sites in Orange County, NC.)

We are happy to share how we plan to vote in this election and walk you through our train of thought. We hope it is useful in filling out your ballot.

(If you want to see your sample ballot, use this form on the NC State BOE website. If you aren’t registered to vote, you can same-day register during early voting!)

We also want to note that you won’t see any town council candidates or school board candidates on the election ballot. Both Carrboro and Chapel Hill run elections in odd years, which means they don’t benefit from the bigger turnout during even years.

voting timeline

More people vote in even-year elections. By selecting council members on odd years, Chapel Hill and Carrboro effectively disenfranchise their constituents. They should hold elections in even years, when more people vote.

timeline shifted

As voting guru and former Chapel Hill Town Council member Gerry Cohen has pointed out, a number of municipalities in NC have switched to even-year elections in the past decade: Winston-Salem, Asheville, Raleigh (new!), Lincolnton, and all of the towns in Stanly and Surry Counties.

When Winston-Salem moved to even year elections, votes cast for Mayor quadrupled, according to Gerry Cohen. Similar increases took place in Raleigh for a school board race. (We don’t know the effect on Raleigh’s mayoral race, as this is the first year its taking place in an even year.)

Here’s what our ballots will look like in Orange County. We’re voting straight ticket Democrat, which is needed to protect our rights and our democracy. Happy voting!

Federal offices

Senate: Cheri Beasley

US House of Representatives District 4: Valerie P. Foushee

State Offices

NC Supreme Court Associate Justice – Seat 3: Lucy Inman

NC Supreme Court Associate Justice – Seat 4: Sam J. Ervin IV

(Read our piece: To protect abortion rights in North Carolina, we must elect Inman and Ervin to the North Carolina Supreme Court.)

North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Seat 8: Carolyn Jennings Thompson

North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Seat 9: Brad A. Salmon

North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Seat 10: Gale Murray Adams

North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Seat 11: Darren Jackson

NC State Senate District 23: Graig Meyer

NC House of Representatives District 56: Allen Buansi

NC Superior Court Judge District 15B – Seat 1: Alyson Grine

NC Superior Court Judge District 15B – Seat 2: Allen Baddour

NC District Court Judge District 15B – Seat 1: C. Todd Roper

District Attorney District 18: Jeff Nieman

County Offices

Board of Commissioners At-Large: Sally Greene

Board of Commissioners District 1: Jamezetta Bedford. (Note: NEXT Chapel Hill Carrboro Action Fund declined to endorse Bedford, citing her no vote on the 203 Project, which will include the Carrboro branch of the Orange County Public Library. While Bedford will be re-elected regardless, skipping this vote allows you to register your disapproval. Full disclosure: TPP contributors Martin Johnson and John Rees are on the board of NEXT).

Board of Commissioners District 2: Earl McKee

Board of Commissioners District 1: Anna Richards

Clerk of Superior Court: Mark Kleinschmidt

Kleinschmidt notes that Clerk of Superior Court is also a state office and that he’s going to get that clarified on future ballots. Thanks Mark!

Register of Deeds: Mark H. Chilton

Sheriff: Charles Blackwood

Other endorsements

The Indy’s endorsement guide is here.

In the last municipal election cycle, we helped increase turnout by over 20 percent. We're all volunteers who care deeply about Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and we're working to make Chapel Hill and Carrboro more vibrant, accessible, fun, and sustainable.  Please consider a small donation to help us keep our digital lights on, host events, and hire students to do data deep-dives.