Vote in North Carolina. Pretty please.

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One of the best parts of being a Duke student is having a free subscription to The New York Times. Seriously, I’m obsessed with it. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of this life-changing Duke student benefit, I encourage you to do so now. here is link in case you are interested. Now, once you sign up for The New York Times (did I mention it’s free if you’re a Duke student?), I strongly recommends reading the appropriately titled article by Frank Bruni, opinion writer and professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy”One of America’s most alluring states is also one of the scariest.”

What politically alluring but terrifying state is Bruni talking about, you ask? Indeed, if you’ve decided not to read Bruni’s article in its entirety, here’s SparkNotes’ response: It’s North Carolina, Duke University‘s home state, where the majority of Chronicle readers attend classes and live most of the calendar year. As Bruni grapples with North Carolina’s fierce partisan divide over the fast approaching midterm elections, he wonders, “Are Republicans going to capitalize on inflation and caricature with successful the Democrats to a point where they will win big midterm and also exploit that victory to consolidate their power well into the future? Is such a bellicose mix of right-wing warriors and such determined progressives governable? In a state that voted simultaneously for a Republican president and a Democratic governor in 2020, anything is arguably possible.

As one of the only universities in North Carolina where the majority of the student body is from outside the state, Duke is uniquely positioned to bring thousands of diverse young voters to the electorate. To illustrate the kind of impact Duke could have, remember that only about 15% of the undergraduate student population lives in North Carolina. With a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,883, minus the 10% who are international students, we are left with 6,195 potential North Carolina voters, if the math in my iPhone calculator is correct. While local County Durham stands out as a Democratic stronghold, the same cannot be said for state politics as a whole. With a margin of victory of just 1.34% in the 2020 general presidential election, narrowest victory in all 50 statesNorth Carolina is an aggressively deep shade of purple.

As my fellow Student Voices columnist Miranda Straubel explained, the implications of the upcoming midterm elections for North Carolina’s future cannot be understated. The ruling party is a only five seats to have the ability to overrule any Governor Veto they wish. Considering the hypothetical implications of this event, I fear the potential loss of basic human rights it would follow. To name a few, think about reproductive autonomy, loss of electoral justice due to increased gerrymandering, lack of financial support for K-12 public education , And the list is long.

Therefore, as the clock strikes midnight on September 20, marking the end of National Voter Registration Day (which, not coincidentally, is at the time of this article’s publication), my request to you is this: Vote in North Carolina this midterm election season. Pretty please. I know there are big elections taking place across the country in November, however, I implore you to take the time to see where your vote would matter most. Where could you make a bigger difference? While North Carolina may not be your home state, it is home to over 10 million other people, including myself and all future Blue Devils who will one day call Duke University and Durham at their home.

In an election year without a presidential decision on the ballot, the impact a Duke student’s vote could have is even greater. In 2014, the last time a U.S. senator was elected from North Carolina in a midterm election cycle, only 44% of eligible North Carolinas voted. Compare that to the presidential election year of 2020, where an unprecedented 75% of North Carolinians voted, and you can see how your vote could cause even more of a stir in a cycle with no presidential power to be won.

To build excitement ahead of General Election Day on Nov. 8, Duke is planning its series of democracy-focused events to celebrate the season. This includes Duke’s first-ever Democracy Day, which is scheduled for October 20. Sponsored by Sanford School Polis Center for PoliticsDemocracy Day will kick off early voting season, which runs from October 20 to November 5. This year, Duke students will have the opportunity to take advantage of same-day registration and vote on campus during early voting at the Karsh Alumni Center polling station.

In anticipation of Democracy Day and the days that follow, I invite you to prepare your voting plan now. To add important appointments to your Outlook calendar. Register to vote on line or at BC Plaza as a table of non-partisan canvassing groups over the next few weeks. request a postal vote if you prefer to vote by mail. Visualize your sample ballot so you can search for relevant breeds. Honestly, it couldn’t be easier to take control of your Democratic autonomy and make an impact by choosing to vote in North Carolina this fall.

Next time you’re in WU waiting for a mobile order during lunch rush hour, take a moment to dive deep into the partisan margin differences between your home state and North Carolina. With that in mind, consider whether you need to register to vote here, a state where your vote can truly tip the scales. I promise you it will take less time than a Mobile Order crepe from Cafe. All you need is the connections in this article.

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