With North Carolina as a presidential swing state for the first time in a long, long time, we're getting a lot of attention from Barack Obama and John McCain. Of course that race deserves attention from all of us, but LGBT and Allied voters need to be paying attention all the way down the ballot.
There's no question that who is the next president, and who we elect to the U.S. Senate and House will mean real difference for the direction of our country. But state and local races are too often overlooked, and the candidates we elect have as much or even more impact on our lives.
No matter where you live in North Carolina, you can vote this year for Governor, Lt. Governor, the eight agency heads on the Council of State, a Supreme Court Justice, and six Court of Appeals Judges, not to mention your state Representative and Senator.
Before you vote, take a moment to educate yourself about the candidates for these offices and the local offices on the ballot in your area.
It's also important to remember a couple key things about the ballot. If you're planning to vote straight-ticket for the Democratic or Republican party, you must first separately vote for your Presidential choice, then vote straight ticket for the rest of the partisan offices. But you're not done! All Judicial races and some local offices are non-partisan, so you have go all the way down the ballot or flip it over and vote separately in those races. If you just check the straight ticket box, you won't have voted for President or Judges!
So how low can you vote this year?