4 Steps to Smart Voting in the Upcoming Midterm Election

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. It’s a “blue moon” election, which means that every so often we have a midterm or off-year election with no statewide candidate for office at the top of the ticket.

Typically, fewer people vote in midterm elections. Every election is important and this one is no different.

“Voting is a social activity; it’s one thing we can all do as a society to make our voice heard,” said UNC Charlotte Political Science Professor Mary Jo Shepherd. She shares these tips for preparing to vote:


1. Make sure you are registered to vote, and remind your friends and family to register, too.  Check your registration anytime at your local county office or the North Carolina State Board of Elections, whose website provides a link to see exactly how your ballot will look. You can use the site to locate your polling place, too. If you discover you are not registered, use in-person early voting sites to register as a same-day registration voter; check your county’s Board of Elections sites for ID requirements.  

2. Know what’s on the ballot. A little research now can help you at the ballot box. You can search each candidate’s website for information, or check your county party organizations for information. Most offer voter guides to help you figure it out.

3. Learn about the six amendments to the North Carolina Constitution on this year’s ballot. Check your local or state party organizations for information on how they support these amendments. The North Carolina General Assembly provides the amendments’ full language.  Or read your party’s stance:

4. Know where to go to vote, and do it! In North Carolina, one-stop voting is available Oct. 17 to Nov. 3 at these locations. Your voter registration informs you where your Election Day polling place is located. Check your registration to make sure you go to the right spot.



The 49er Democracy Experience is helping get students to the polls while celebrating voter engagement. They will be shuttling students to the closest polling location at J.W. Clay on Monday, Oct. 29 through Friday, Nov. 2 from 2-4:30pm, meeting in front of Popp Martin Student Union. On Monday and Friday, there will be pizza and snow cones from 2-5pm. 
Students who are not registered in Mecklenburg County, but would like to register and vote early, please bring proof of residence and a photo ID. Students living on campus can prove residency by showing their housing.uncc.edu account. For off-campus residence, please bring photo ID or utility bill, lease, or other government ID.

Mary Jo McGowan Shepherd earned a Ph.D. in public policy from UNC Charlotte in 2014. She is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, teaching courses in international, comparative politics and public policy.