UNC Institute of Politics President Patrick Bradey ’21 shares three reminders ahead of November’s election

Sep 18, 2020

This election is perhaps the most important in a generation, but it’s also one in which voting is easier than ever, especially in North Carolina. Our state stands ready to allow for a complete voting process, from registration to the actual casting of a ballot, in a manner that is completely online, safe, and secure. 

With the ability to vote without even leaving your home, North Carolina is ramping up to meet or even exceed turnout records this year. Will you be one of the millions who make this a year that will change the course of history? 

For many young people like me, this is the first time we’ll get to cast our ballots for President. 

American democracy has been a grand experiment in participation from the very beginning. Although the way that participation has been structured has always been deeply flawed, and remains so even today, it is participation that makes the experiment work. 

If the last four years have taught us anything, it’s that a lot can change. Don’t underestimate the impact of a single election, or of a single vote. Races across the county and country need your attention. 

When I fill out my ballot this year, there will be 42 different offices of referenda on which I will make a decision. Every one of those makes a tangible difference in someone’s life, if not my own. I owe it to them to pay attention to these races, familiarize myself with those issues, and to learn what I can about each of these candidates to make the best and most informed choice possible. 

From President down to Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors, every one of these is a meaningful and significant part of the fabric that upholds our Republic. 

Before us is a daunting task and a daring future, but one that is made no easier by choosing to “not be political” or abstain from voting because “I don’t really like either candidate.” 

Our civic duty has never been clearer, and we are obligated by the magnitude of the consequences of this election to participate in it, and to participate fully.

Three reminders to keep in mind: 
1. Check your voter registration through the North Carolina State Board of Elections.

2. If you need to update your voter registration or register for the first time, you can do so through North Carolina’s DMV website.

3. If you’re planning on voting by mail, you can request a ballot or check its status through the North Carolina Absentee Ballot Request Portal.

To get specific information for your state of residence, you can text VOTEUNC to 56525 for help. 

Patrick Bradey ’21 is the president of The University of North Carolina Institute of Politics, a student-led organization that aims to engage and inspire students to pursue careers in politics and public service. The scholar is a double major in political science and Hispanic linguistics and plans to receive a minor in urban studies and planning from Carolina. In 2019, he served as deputy campaign manager for Julie Eiselt’s campaign for Charlotte City Council at-large. He is happy to help in any way with election questions, or to help you sign up to be a poll worker!


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