The Davidsonian

Midterm Election Guide for Davidson Students

Madeline Richard ’26 (She/Her), Staff Writer

Davidson students can make their voice heard in the upcoming North Carolina midterms by voting. There are some important things to keep in mind as the election approaches, particularly in regards to voter registration, the numerous ways to vote, and informational resources.

If students are not already registered to vote in North Carolina and want to change their registration from their home state to North Carolina, they must complete a paper voter registration form. The Center for Political Engagement (CPE) can provide students with these forms. The form contains specific formatting rules; all Davidson addresses are at 209 Ridge Road, and students must put their PO box number. Although the voter registration deadline was October 14, students can still go to an early voting site for same-day registration.

Early voting at Cornelius Town Hall opens on October 20 and continues until November 5. A benefit to early voting is fewer crowds and more scheduling flexibility. Thanks to the CPE coordinating several voter shuttles, this is an accessible option.

Midterm Election Day on November 8 is a popular option, with the CPE also offering golf cart shuttles to the local polling site, the Davidson K-8 School. In case students won’t be in Davidson during the election, absentee ballots can be requested any time before November 1.

Campus organizations, like the CPE, are working to help students cast their ballots and enhance political engagement. Collaborations with Davidson College Democrats, Davidson College Republicans, and Davidson College Libertarians are encouraging student voting. Since reproductive rights are a major issue on the ballot this year, Planned Parenthood Generation Action (PPGA) is focused on voter education too. The Union Board will also host an election watch party, so students can stay updated on poll results.

Student organizations, Davidson faculty, and online resources can help students stay informed about issues on the ballot. The Center for Political Engagement has informational events, and another resource is the political science department. Professor Greg Snyder in the religious studies department runs the Precinct 206 Democrats, a group focused on improving election information accessibility; the organization publishes newsletters and has volunteer opportunities. Twitter pages and candidate websites are useful election information sources as well.

Sode Smith ’23, treasurer of the Davidson College Democrats, highlighted the importance of voter engagement on the local level. When recalling her first time voting, she reflected that “I kind of wish that I had done a little bit more research into the local election […] a lot of candidates were proposing policies that I would have supported.” While these local races may seem small, they matter. Their outcomes affect the policies closest to campus, so researching candidates beforehand is important. It’s also valuable to look beyond political affiliation, as candidates across all parties might propose policies that students support.

Davidson is in an incredibly contested district. Here in district 98, where many races are decided by between 400 and 1000 votes, student voices matter. Jack Magner ’23, President of the CPE, commented “your vote probably matters more here than almost anywhere else in the country.” Each student can have a significant impact on the local, state, and national levels, meaning that political engagement is crucial.

Magner puts it well: “if you are politically informed […] it changes the way that you see the entire world.” Political engagement helps students understand the past, present, and future of their community, and the 2022 midterms are a perfect way to get involved.

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