by Mary Hopper.

Rarely has a theme had more relevance than the call for “Power to the Polls.” Before you think, “I vote, so I have that covered,” we urge you to dig deeper into what Power to the Polls should mean for a concerned citizen. Here’s a quick overview of races and how you can make a difference and, a reminder: start educating yourself on who has filed.

• There will be 34 races decided in 2018, some as early as the May 8 primary. As we have learned, even officials like the Sheriff and District Attorney impact the welfare of our community. Study up and make educated choices.

• While a three-judge federal panel struck down the state’s 13 congressional maps, and legislators were told to redraw those maps by January 24, a court appeal meant that no new maps are in effect for the midterm elections. Rep. Robert Pittenger has two Republican opponents and two Democrats running for his District 9 seat, making both the May 8 outcome and the November election important. Rep Alma Adams in District 12 has three Democratic opponents as well as three Republicans. She is the sole woman running for Congress in Mecklenburg,

• The General Assembly plays an increasingly harsh role in our lives here in Mecklenburg County, making it imperative we pay close attention to the active campaigns that have already begun. In an upcoming article, we will help you do your homework. Please begin today by seeing who has filed in your senate and house districts. There are some especially strong people running and some cautious optimism a few seats can change for the better. And, a lot of the best candidates are strong women.

• Given the large number of candidates running both at-large and for district seats on the Board of County Commission, you might expect some turnover. Seven Democrats have filed for the three at-large seats but only one Republican has. Districts 2 and 3 representatives, Vilma Leake and George Dunlap, will have their fate decided May 8 since no Republicans are running. Same is true in District 4 where three Democrats are vying for the seat Dumont Clarke is vacating. The three Republican-leaning districts of 1, 5 and 6 all have strong Democratic opponents making for an interesting fall election. Stay tuned.

• Eleven judges are up for election, nine of which serve in district court where many family and children cases are adjudicated. Although these races are now partisan thanks to the state legislature, the actual election will be on November 6, giving you more time to educate yourself. Don’t worry, we’ll help with that as well.

• While CWM does not endorse, we will guide you on how to arrive at your own informed decision.

Here are more ways to bring your personal Power to the Polls:

• Study the voting records of incumbents.
• Study the various endorsements and candidate surveys as they emerge.
• Consider working in one or more campaigns.
• Donate to candidates. Even a small $25-50 gift helps many local races.
• Early voting runs April 19-May 5.
Stay engaged through the May 8 primary. As we learned in City Council races last  year, many elections are decided in the primaries.
• Work on races through to November 6
• Encourage others to go to the polls.
• Early voting has swung recent elections. Vote early so you can work the polls election  day.
• Bring your full power to making a difference in these elections.

For additional information on all candidates please visit these links:
Mecklenburg County Board of Elections
League of Women Voters 411.com


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