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March 3rd is Election Day in Durham, NC! Voters around the community will be heading to the polls to participate in the municipal elections.

Based on initial results, early voting among Duke students is on pace to double 2016’s early turnout. And although that number is exciting, preliminary analysis shows that two-thirds of registered students still have yet to cast a ballot. Tuesday is your last opportunity!

Here’s a quick guide for how to participate in the elections:

1. Are you registered to vote?

In order to vote in Durham, you must be registered already. To check if you are registered, visit this website and enter your information. If you don’t show up in the Board of Elections system, you are likely not registered. You may still cast a provisional ballot, which will register you for the next election but will probably not be counted in this election.

2. Where do I go to vote?

Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Unfortunately, there is no more voting in the Brodhead Center. Your polling place will be listed when you check your registration status. For residents of West and Central Campuses, this is the Patterson Recreation Center (2614 Crest Street). For East Campus residents, vote at George Watts Elementary School (700 Watts Street).

Students, faculty, and staff who live off campus may be assigned to other precincts and should vote there. If the address on record for you is not where you currently live, look up what precinct your current address is in here. Go there, and the staff will help update your registration information.

3. How do I get to the polls?

Duke is providing a Lyft code to cover rides to the Patterson Recreation Center from the Bryan Center Circle. To use the Lyft:

  1.  Sign the waiver and release form here (Duke NetID is required).
  2. Obtain the promo code for the ride to and from the W.I. Patterson Community Center.
  3. If not already a Lyft user, download the Lyft app on your Apple or Android device and create a Lyft account.
  4. Enter the code under the promo code section of the app.
  5. When you’re ready to vote, use the app to summon your Lyft ride. All rides must begin and end at the Bryan Center bus stop on Science Drive.
  6. If you are registered to vote at George Watts Elementary School, it is a five-minute walk from East Campus.

4. What happens when I get to the polling place?

The elections staff will ask for your name, address, and partisan affiliation. They will then have you sign a form confirming that information before giving you a ballot. You will be directed to a booth where you can fill it out in private. After you finish, you will insert the ballot into a machine to be tabulated. Great job participating in our democracy!

5. Who is on my ballot?

This election includes races at all levels government, from president to school board. You can see copies of your sample ballot on the website where you check your registration. Voters who are unaffiliated with a political party can select which ballot they would like to use. 


New Podcast - Hot Topics in 2020 Elections

The Sanford School has launched Season 5 of its award-winning documentary podcast, Ways & Means with a series dedicated to issues in U.S. politics and civic life and hot topics in the 2020 elections.

We'll explore the connection between afterschool programs and parents' political engagement. what makes an effective leader, and why more young people don't vote, (and what can we do about it).

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