Staff Editorial: As midterms loom, remember to vote

Voting in college can be difficult to navigate, but there are many ways to get your vote in while on campus. Of course, if your home address is in North Carolina, and especially in Guilford County, you can just vote on election day like usual. If you live in North Carolina but aren’t a local, you can try early voting or voting by mail. Depending on when elections are for your county, you may be able to go home and vote as well.

If you live out of state, you have two options. You can vote by mail or you can change your state of residence. The former will allow you to vote in elections for your home state, while the latter will let you vote in North Carolina elections. Updating your voter registration to change states can be done digitally, by phone, or by mail, depending on the states involved. Information on how to do this can be found on government websites.

As for the elections in North Carolina themselves, we’ve got a large slate of elections this year. For the Senate, Republican Rep. Ted Budd  and former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, a Democrat, are duking it out for current Sen. Richard Burr’s seat. Rep. Kathy Manning, a Democrat, is fighting against Republican challenger Christian Castelli to keep her seat.

Down ballot, there is a full slate of local offices, including a few court positions, state Senate seats and state House seats.  In Guilford County, the offices of District Attorney, Clerk of Superior Court, Sheriff, and Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor are also on the ticket, along with seats on the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and Board of Education.

State and local government offices are of increasing importance these days, with their power over local elections becoming a hot commodity for national parties who seek to influence results before they are in. So make sure not to neglect those down-ballot seats. Your ability to select the candidate of your choice for top seats in the future may depend on it.

Whatever choices you make this year when it comes to voting, just remember to vote in the first place. Participating in the electoral process is an important part of being a citizen, and particularly in local elections, every vote matters. Abdicating from the process only ensures that the people who do vote get more of a say than you do.