Election 2014 has come and gone, and more than 2.9 million North Carolinians voted. While this number is the highest total of voters to participate in a mid-term election, it fell just in the middle if looking at percentage of registered voters who participated. Just 44% of North Carolinians who were registered to vote actually cast a ballot.
It’s clear that we still have a lot of work to do in order to ensure all North Carolinians have their voices heard. Some parts of the new voting law went into effect this year, creating some confusion for voters who went to the incorrect precincts on Election Day. One of the changes for 2014 was that North Carolinians could no longer cast provisional ballots if they voted out of their precinct.
Voters experienced long waits during the early voting period (October 23 – November 1). The number of early voting days was reduced; however, these sites offered the same number of hours to vote as in previous years. Despite the extend voting hours, North Carolinians still experienced wait times of up to two to three hours in some locations.
Here at the NCLCV Foundation, we are crunching the numbers to help inform our work for 2015 and beyond. This year, we were able to help 15,000 North Carolinians register to vote, and our canvassers knocked on more than 175,000 doors in Mecklenburg, Forsyth, Guilford, Wake, and Harnett counties between October 13 and November 4. We are incredibly proud of all of our team members!
Stay tuned: voter education is a never-ending process. The issues at stake may change, but the need to participate in the democratic process will not. In fact, it will only continue to become more important as fears over dark money and special interests drowning out the voices of constituents grows.
Where are you from, Harold?
Boca Raton, Florida
Have you done canvassing before?
No, this is my first time.
Why do you think voting is important?
Voting gives us a voice and allows us to make it heard.
What can we do to get all voices heard in North Carolina?
We need to educate people about the benefits of voting
What is the best statement you’ve heard while out canvassing?
“Keep up the good work.”
Where are you from, Earl?
Born and raised in Raleigh
Have you done canvassing before?
I have not, but I love it!
Why do you think people should vote?
I have a lot of friends who are not eligible to vote due to decisions they made early in their lives. I really want people who are eligible to exercise that right. It’s one of the only ways to get your voice heard on both the state and national level. We have an opportunity to make a decision for our government, and this is especially important on the local level.
Why do you think people don’t vote?
I think too many people don’t have the right information on how to register or how to vote, or they don’t have the ability to access that information. Others don’t feel like their vote is going to help or that it isn’t important.
Where are you from, Mia?
Washington D.C. originally but I’ve been in Raleigh on and off for the last ten years
Have you canvassed before?
Not formally. When I was in D.C., my father worked on Capitol Hill, so I did spend time up there, volunteering and speaking on behalf of causes close to my heart (namely issues around early education and children).
Why should people vote?
If you don’t vote, you can’t complain, especially when it comes to social issues.
So, why do you think people – especially those of the Rising American Electorate – aren’t voting?
I think that people are losing hope and faith in our government leaders. Sadly, there seems to be more fighting amongst themselves than actual legislation passed benefiting the American people.