The Jordan Institute for Families is proud to be part of Carolina Social Workers Action for Voting (C-SWAV), a non-partisan coalition of faculty, staff, and students within the UNC School of Social Work organizing to promote the following goals:
- Provide students, faculty, staff, alumni, and partners with the information they need to be able to vote safely and on time this election.
- Provide this community with resources so they can help others exercise their right to vote.
- Educate our community and beyond on the importance of voting rights and democracy in social work as part of our Code of Ethics and practice and the ways that voter suppression has long been, and continues to be, an artifact of oppression and racism in our national, state, and local history.
- Transforming Election Day—November 3—into a school-wide Day of Action in which classes are replaced with asynchronous activities so that students and faculty may support our local elections through a variety of volunteer opportunities. All efforts to support voting over the course of the season will be recognized on this day.
Voting Rights are a Social Work Value
There are several places in the NASW Code of Ethics that address the importance of voting, based in our values of self-determination for all people and in our commitment to challenge social injustice.
- Ethical Principle: Social Workers Challenge Social Injustice: Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.
- Ethical Standard 6.02: Public Participation: Social workers should facilitate informed participation by the public in shaping social policies and institutions.
- Ethical Standard 6.04: Social and Political Action: (a) Social workers should engage in social and political action that seeks to ensure that all people have equal access to the resources, employment, services, and opportunities they require to meet their basic human needs and to develop fully. Social workers should be aware of the impact of the political arena on practice and should advocate for changes in policy and legislation to improve social conditions in order to meet basic human needs and promote social justice.
What’s on this Site?
We have collected a variety of information for you to be able to have the resources you need to vote this November, support your clients, friends and community in voting, volunteer in this election, and educate yourself and others about the history of voting rights in our country and state.
We will be hosting a series of virtual trainings, events, and documentary screenings. Check out the events page of this site and connect with us on social media.
We have highlighted some particularly important websites in the side tabs. You Can Vote is an excellent nonpartisan organization with a wealth of information and resources. We highly recommend bookmarking this site. Voting is Social Work is a second site with great information that social workers and others can use in this important work. Vote 411 provides information about voter registration and who is on the ballet. DemocracyNC focuses on keeping elections fair, safe and accessible.
Our colleagues at University Libraries are hosting a number of wonderful events and sessions. Click here to learn more or check out our events page.
Quick link: Vote411 is a non-partisan website that can quickly help you register to vote, check your voter registration status, find your polling place, see the races on your ballot and compare/select candidates.
Important North Carolina Deadlines:
- Register to Vote:
- Online: Friday, October 9
- By Mail: postmarked Friday, October 9
- Mail to NC State Board of Elections (P.O. Box 27255 Raleigh, NC 27611) or your County Board of Elections Office
- In Person: Saturday, October 31
- Absentee Ballot Request Form: due to County Board of Elections Office by 5pm on Tuesday, October 27.
- Note: Due to the anticipated strain on the U.S. Postal Service, we recommend submitting your Absentee Ballot request form no later than October 1st.
- Early Voting Begins: Thursday, October 15
- Early Voting Ends: Saturday, October 31
- Deadline to Submit Absentee Ballot: received by County Board of Elections by Tuesday, November 3
- Can be handed to a poll worker at a polling place
- Election Day: Tuesday, November 3
Shortcut to helpful resources:
Detailed Voter Information:
- Fill out the North Carolina Voter Registration Application
- Mail it, email it to your county’s Board of Elections or submit it online as soon as possible.
- If mailing it, you may send it to the North Carolina Board of Elections or your county Board of Elections.
- Mail-In/Absentee Voting
- You do NOT need an excuse to request a mail-in absentee ballot.
- The Board of Elections will begin mailing Vote-By-Mail-In/Absentee ballots for the November general election on Sept. 4, 2020.
- Your absentee Ballot Request Form isdue to County Board of Elections Office by 5pm on Tuesday, October 27.
- Note: Due to the anticipated strain on the U.S. Postal Service, we recommend submitting your Absentee Ballot Request Form no later than October 1st.
- Deadline to Submit Absentee Ballot: must be received by County Board of Elections by Tuesday, November 3
- Can be handed to a poll worker at a polling place or your county Board of Elections office.
- Early Voting
- Please note that Early Voting hours, dates, and locations vary from county to county, so please check your local county’s information about their Early Voting schedule. Here is Orange County’s Early Voting Schedule:
- Day-Of Voting
- Polling places are open across the state from 6:30am to 7:30pm on Tuesday, November 3.
- If you are in line at 7:30pm, poll workers are required to allow you to vote.
- Masks are not required at polling places, so please remember to bring your mask, keep your distance from other voters/poll workers, and wash your hands before and after.
- Sample Ballot
- What’s on your ballot depends upon the county, NC House district, and Commissioner district of your home address.
- To see what districts you are in, and a sample ballot when it becomes available, use this tool at the NC State Board of Elections Website.
- Choosing Candidates
- Enter your address into this tool by the non-partisan organization Vote411 and it has a tool to walk you through the candidates and races on your ballot, allowing you to select candidates along the way and print a summary of your choices.
- Endorsements from Partisan Organizations:
- Note: we do not support any of these endorsements; we have them here as a resource to you if you put stock in the perspectives of these organizations.
- Many organizations have not yet released their endorsements. We will update this page as they come out.
- County-Specific Contact Information
- The last two pages of the NC Absentee Ballot Request Form have contact information for all 100 counties in North Carolina.
- You may also want to visit your county’s Board of Elections website for information specific to your county.
- Know Your Rights
- You can register to vote if you are at least 16, you are a U.S. Citizen, and you are not currently serving a felony sentence or on probation or parole for a felony conviction.
- Gender, race, and ethnicity are OPTIONAL categories on the voter registration form. You may leave them blank.
- You will need to provide the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number (SSN) or your Drivers License/DMV ID Number.
- Who can vote in NC?
- You can vote if you are at least 18 years old by or on Election Day (Nov. 3), you are a U.S. Citizen, and you have lived in North Carolina for at least 30 days prior to Election Day.
- Need Help Voting?
- You may bring someone inside to assist you in casting your ballot.
- Curbside Voting
- If you are unable to get inside the polling location, you may use curbside voting.
- Stay in Line
- If you are in line when the polling place closes, poll workers must provide you with a ballot.
- ID Requirements
- For same-day registration and voting, you must bring proof of residency (either a physical copy or be able to bring it up on your phone). This may include a photo ID, Utilities Bill, Government Check, Bank Statement, Lease, or Student ID.
- You are not required to show ID when you vote in person; you will need to provide your name and address.
- It is illegal for poll workers to ask you to show ID to vote, unless you are doing same-day registration.
- Provisional Ballot
- If you believe you have registered but your name is not on the rolls or if you are told that you are in the wrong precinct, you are entitled to vote with a provisional ballot and receive follow-up instructions.
- You have a right to vote without being INTIMIDATED or FORCED to vote in a certain way. Intimidating a voter is a crime. Voters who feel harassed or intimidated should notify an election official/call the voter hotline immediately. Call to report intimidation 1-888-OUR-VOTE
- Problems Voting? Call a Hotline for help
- 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
- Problems voting hotline in Spanish: 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
- 1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
- 1-844-YALLA-US (Arabic)
- Vote411.org is a non-partisan organization that can help you check to see if you are registered to vote, find your polling place, view your sample ballot, select candidates based on detailed, non-partisan information, register to vote, and request an absentee ballot.
- VOT-ER is an online voter registration platform created by the MGH Center for Social Justice and Health Equity, which has free lanyards with QR codes and a number to text to help clients register to vote and request absentee ballots.
“Voting is Social Work” – Field Seminar PowerPoint on Voter Engagement:
- Documentaries, TED Talks, and non-fiction video clips:
- Available for free with an active ONYEN through the UNC Media Resource Library, or email Averyl Edwards (she/her) at firstname.lastname@example.org for help with access.
- Rigged: The Voter Suppression Play Book
- Stacy Abrams’ Documentary (available Sept 18 on Amazon)
- Digital Disconnect
- Feature Films about Voting Rights:
- She Votes – Podcast
- The Magic Sash – Aly Raisman
- Truth Be Told Digital Collection
UNC School of Social Work is turning Election Day—Tuesday, November 3—into a school-wide day of service. Classes will be replaced with asynchronous learning so that students and faculty are available to participate in the voting process, both as voters and volunteers. There are many ways to be involved, whether on Election Day, during Early Voting, or even before the polls are open through helping clients access the voting process.
If you are a member of a faith community, club, sorority/fraternity, neighborhood association or other group, ask if they are organizing activities specific to getting people to the polls.
While we are to including the details here, you can also volunteer to help out your favorite candidates in their election bid. Check out the interview with Jillian Riley on our blog for ideas.
- Early Voting/Election Day Volunteer Opportunities
- Poll Worker
- Note: You may only be a poll worker in the district in which you are registered to vote. Note: Orange County already has enough poll workers signed up.
- Vote Protector/Poll Monitor
- Vote Protectors monitor a specific polling place to make sure every eligible voter is able to successfully cast their ballot. Volunteer with Democracy NC to join this work.
- Poll Worker
Poll Worker: NC State Board of Elections: 4 hr training plus 12 hr day: Link
Vote Protector/Poll Monitor: Democracy NC: Supervising the voting process: Oct 15-Oct 31: Online training Oct 10th 10:30-12:30 (other dates available): Link
Student Voter Volunteer: When We All Vote: sign up for info on volunteer opportunities: link
Stop Voter Suppression: Protect the Vote: Election Protection Volunteer: link
Thank you for your partnership with your students and with the School of Social Work. There are so many ways that we all can be involved in advocating for voting rights and access. In addition to the websites in the tabs above, here are some resources that you might find helpful in working with your students over the next few months.
Click here for voter engagement activities in field practice to demonstrate CSWE competencies.
Click here for 20 ways to make voting matter.
Click here for a field activity on voter awareness and engagement during a pandemic.
UNC School of Social Work is turning Election Day—Tuesday, November 3—into a school-wide day of service. Classes will be replaced with asynchronous learning so that students and faculty are available to participate in the voting process, both as voters and volunteers. Please encourage your students to use this page as a resource!
See teaching resources below:
Click here for classroom assignment ideas on this topic.
Click here for a flyer about the role of social workers in voter turnout.
Click here for information about allowable voting activities for non-profits.
Click here for a worksheet on knowing ones elected officials.
Click here to learn about VotER and integrating voter engagement into health care settings.
We’re here to support you as you vote and advocate for voting rights. Click here to access a webpage designed specifically for social work students. Check out the resources in the tabs above to learn and engage.
We’ve put together this handy document to help guide your conversation with your field faculty:
A Powerpoint from Field Seminar about how Voting is Social Work: