Elections and Voting Rights 2022: What You Can Do Now
This guide (last updated 5/3/2022) provides information about the 2022 elections, and a list of opportunities for getting involved NOW, and for keeping up-to-date.
Choose from actions that take a few minutes to those that require an hour or more, or an ongoing commitment. Once you have chosen, do what you can! If you sign up for a phone bank or text bank, you don’t have to stay the whole time! If you postcard or write letters, you can write them a few at a time on your own, or write them together with friends. If you canvass or register voters in person, you get to hang out with other people!
Note that this guide only covers nonpartisan nonprofit organizations. Voting rights is not a partisan issue! If we end voter suppression and increase voter turnout, we will have the democracy we want!
NORTH CAROLINA 2022 ELECTIONS
Statewide primaries are on Tuesday, May 17.
The General Election is on Tuesday, November 8.
Races on the ballot include:
- The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives
- The N.C. General Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives)
- The N.C. Supreme Court and Court of Appeals
- Municipal elections in some locations. You can use this tool to determine where municipalities are holding elections.
- Nonpartisan information about candidates is available from the League of Women Voters at www.vote411.org. Voters can also check their voter registration and obtain information about elections dates and polling places at this site.
Dates to remember for the Primary Election:
- Voter registration: The deadline to register has passed, but you may still register in person at any Early Voting site.
- Early voting: April 28 - May 14, at any Early Voting site in your county.
- Primary Election: May 17, at your precinct
- Absentee ballots: You may request an absentee ballot (also called a mail-in ballot) by clicking here (or here to download a form) until May 10 (but do it sooner!). You can also track your ballot online. All completed ballots must be postmarked by May 17.
PREPARING YOURSELF TO GET INVOLVED
- The stakes are high! We need to safeguard the right to vote and help people use their vote to elect a government that passes laws that create a more equitable society. What do you care about — abortion rights, criminal justice reform, healthcare access, the climate crisis, etc.? They are all on the ballot!
- We cannot give way to despair or hopelessness or fear or anger. We can not listen to the pundits who tell us that the battle for democracy is lost. This is what we do instead: harness our love and join together to bend the arc towards justice in North Carolina and the United States.
- Reach beyond your comfort zone. It will feel good to join with tens of thousands of other citizens across the country who are standing up and taking action.
- Do what you can! Take care of yourself while you are taking care of democracy.
- If you’d like to take action together with others in CJJ, contact one of our Voting Rights groups. If you have questions or would like to talk with someone in order to figure out how to get started with taking action, contact [email protected].
PLAN TO MARCH ON JUNE 18 WITH THE POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN IN DC!
- Mark your calendar for The Poor People’s Moral Assembly & March on Washington, June 18. Join “a generationally-transformative declaration of the power of poor and low-wealth people and our moral allies to say that this system is killing ALL of us and we can’t…we won’t…WE REFUSE TO BE SILENT ANY MORE!” For more info, and to find a bus and register, click here.
ENGAGE VOTERS: GET OUT THE VOTE!
Let’s make sure North Carolina voters have all the information they need to cast a ballot. It’s not always easy to get accurate information. Consider also helping out in other states where voter suppression is rampant! Primary elections are happening soon in some of these states, and we can make a difference there, too!
In North Carolina:
- With the new redistricting maps, people may not know what district they are in or who their candidates are.
- Polling locations are different during Early Voting than on Election Day, and not everyone is aware of this.
- Further confusion: the rules for voter registration, requesting and submitting an absentee ballot, and getting help in filling out a ballot can be complicated and change from election to election.
- Another reason we need to talk with voters: Many voters haven’t connected the dots between elections and the issues they care about, so engaging them will help them understand the power of the vote. Only by voting will they gain power and have officials who work for the well-being of their families and communities.
Here’s what you can do right now for North Carolina:
- Take the online Pledge To Vote. You Can Vote offers timely emails to anyone who takes the pledge to provide the latest personalized information about voter registration, and about where and when you can vote. Click here to sign up for yourself and then share with your networks. EASY! TAKES A FEW MINUTES!
- Register voters in person. You Can Vote operates in over 40 North Carolina counties to educate, register, and mobilize eligible residents to become lifelong voters, with a focus on groups facing barriers to voting. You Can Vote offers a one-hour volunteer training and has scheduled events across the state. Click here for more information.
- Engage voters of color by canvassing, phone banking, or text banking. The New North Carolina Project reaches out to people of color throughout the year to provide information, engage their interest in voting, and make sure they are registered and know how to cast their ballots. Sign up here to knock on doors or participate in phone banks, and here for text bank opportunities.
The following organizations work across the South, including North Carolina:
- Phone bank or write postcards to increase voter turnout in the Primary Election among people of color in North Carolina and across the South. The Center for Common Ground/Reclaim Our Vote is phone banking to states with significant voter suppression. For phone banks, click here. A postcard campaign for Alabama voters is in progress, with the launch of a similar campaign for Georgia on March 10, and North Carolina Primary: on March 17. For postcarding, click here, then scroll down to #2 to find your regional organizer; in NC send an email to [email protected].
- Phone bank to help Get Out the Vote in Georgia. Continue the conversations that the New Georgia Project has been having with voters in Georgia. The New Georgia Project reaches voters multiple times throughout the year. Now they are talking to voters so they will be excited and ready to vote in the May primary election. Phone banks are available evenings from Monday - Friday and Saturday afternoons. Sign up here.
MONITOR YOUR COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS
- Monitor your County Board of Elections (BOE) as a Local Election Advocate with Democracy NC. Local BOEs make decisions about polling locations, early voting schedules, the election administration budget and election security. The Boards meet monthly with additional meetings close to elections. Some meetings are in person, but most meetings also have virtual access. Find out where and when your Board of Election meets at this link. Democracy NC will train you and provide ongoing support. To view information and access training materials, click here.
- Volunteer with your County Board of Elections. Many county BOEs welcome volunteers and hire short-term help to support registration and voting. Contact your local Board of Elections. To find contact information, click on this link.
ADVOCATE FOR VOTING RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY
There may be times when it is important to advocate for voting rights by contacting your own elected officials. Currently, the most urgent need is to protect democracy in Congress and in states where the legislatures are passing massive voter suppression bills.
- Support pro-voting legislation and help recruit poll monitors in other states. Volunteer with Protect The Vote, a national nonpartisan program of Common Cause that assists voters at the polls. Currently they are phone banking for various states to recruit volunteers to be poll monitors and to build support for proposed pro-voting legislation. For more information, click here.
- Write emails to (or tweet at) corporations that fund the Sedition Caucus, the members of Congress who voted to overturn the 2020 election. Participate via the brand new Corporate Accountability Project, a grassroots volunteer-built project out of California. They make it easy, with clear instructions, a spreadsheet that has information about the contributions, along with contact information for each corporation, sample letters and sample tweets. Let’s make this initiative go viral! A tip: it’s important to personalize the samples. To get started, click here.
ADVOCATE FOR RANKED CHOICE VOTING IN NC!
BetterBallotNC.org is working to institute Ranked Choice Voting in North Carolina as a means of making sure those who win elections receive at least 50% of the votes. With Ranked Choice Voting, voters rank order their preferences so that if no candidate receives a majority of the votes, those candidates with the fewest first choice votes are eliminated and those voters have their 2nd choice vote applied, until one candidate receives at least 50% of votes. For a very short video that explains the concept, click here. Show your support and sign up to get information by signing a petition. EASY! TAKES A FEW MINUTES! If you’d like to get involved, click here for more information.
KEEP YOUR SPIRIT STRONG AND YOUR INFORMATION UP TO DATE!
One way to keep up with the action is by signing up for emails and newsletters from partners listed on the Carolina Jews For Justice Resources Page.
You can also attend a monthly, one-hour meeting for volunteers with a North Carolina voting rights group.
- You Can Vote: Monthly volunteer updates are held typically on the last Thursday of the month at 6 pm. Click here to register.
- Democracy NC: You can sign up for alerts so you’ll know when action is needed and important meetings are scheduled.
- Common Cause: Sign up for one of their monthly webinars featuring expert presentations and Q&A time. Sign up here.
- New North Carolina Project: Sign up for their Town Halls to hear from elected officials, activists, and experts about issues important to voters. If you live in Orange, Durham, or Alamance counties, sign up here for monthly volunteer meetings.
GUIDE BY MARILYN HARTMAN