The following editorial appeared in the Fayetteville Observer:
It’s all over but the counting – well, almost. First we’ve all got to produce something to count. We’ve got to vote.
Early voters turned out in what may be record numbers this year, but a respectable turnout still needs the attention of the rest of us who haven’t voted yet.
This is a midterm election, when political fervor is typically turned down a few degrees. But not, it appears, this year. Here in North Carolina, it’s been a hot and heavy campaign season, especially in the ballot race at the top – the duel between U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and the man who wants to take her seat, N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis. It’s likely to be the most expensive race in the country this year, and for good reason – it may be the race that holds the Senate for the Democrats or tips it into Republican hands.
But don’t stop there. There’s plenty more to make your vote urgent. The polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
If you’re used to marking the party of your choice and turning in your ballot, you’ve got your work cut out for you this year. The straight-ticket ballot is gone, and you have to make a selection in each race for which you want to cast a vote. It’s more important than ever that you familiarize yourself with who’s running for what office before you enter the polling place.
Many state legislative seats don’t involve serious contests this year, but two with local ties do. Sen. Wesley Meredith faces former Rep. Billy Richardson. Rep. Rick Glazier is battling Richard Button.
Voters will also make picks in congressional races, varying based on where you live.
The biggest challenge for voters may come in judicial elections. One contest for the state Court of Appeals has 19 candidates pushing for one seat. Preparing by reading up on the candidates is essential.
Just remember that if you don’t vote now, you forfeit the right to complain later.