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Social Work Voting Information

 

Our right to vote is so important. Social workers should be informed of who to vote for as these elected officials make key decisions on issues impacting the profession, including funding for social work related programs. Social workers are also in a unique position to help their clients register to vote and be informed about upcoming elections.

 

It also happens to be in our NASW Code of Ethics:

The NASW Code of Ethics standard 6.02: Public Participation states:

Social workers should facilitate informed participation by the public in shaping social policies and institutions.

Standard 6.04: Social and Political Action states:

Social workers should promote policies and practices that demonstrate respect for difference, support the expansion of cultural knowledge and resources, advocate for programs and institutions that demonstrate cultural competence, and promote policies that safeguard the rights and confirm equity and social justice for all people.

 

NASW-NC is committed to helping social workers be informed about the upcoming elections in 2020. This page will be updated periodically leading up to and during the elections.


Dates to Know: General Election

Election Day: November 3, 2020
Early Voting: October 15, 2020 - October 31, 2020
Voter Registration Deadline: October 9, 2020
Deadline to Request an Absentee Ballot: October 27, 2020
Deadline to Return Completed Absentee Ballot: Nov. 3, 2020

  

Voting and Coronavirus

The State Board of Elections and N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) have launched a service to allow NCDMV customers to apply to register to vote or update existing voter registration information online. Find out more information and how to register here.

 

Check out the North Carolina State Board of Elections Website on Voting and Coronavirus for updated information about current legislative changes to absentee ballots- information coming soon!

Voter ID in North Carolina 

You DO NOT need a Photo ID to vote in the 2020 General Election in November! This is due to the NC Court of Appeals decision in December 2019. If this changes before the General Elections in November, NASW-NC will notify members as soon as possible. You can also check the State Board of Elections website for updated information regarding Voter I.D.

 

Redistricting in North Carolina

In mid-2019, a three-judge panel ordered that the state’s legislative and congressional maps be redrawn prior to the 2020 elections to reflect districts that are more equitable and less gerrymandered, or drawn for political gain. As a result of those rulings (Common Cause, et al. v. Lewis and Harper, et al. v. Lewis), the 2020 districts have changed. After this year’s Census, the districts will change once more as they are redrawn by the general assembly to reflect population changes. Read more about redistricting and the fight for fair maps from Democracy NC.

 

Voting Information and Resources

  • Judicial Races: Learn why these candidates are so important to vote for!
  • Find instructions on looking up your voter registration, find your polling site if you are registered, and find your sample ballot, HERE!
  • Election officials are desperate for good poll workers, but many communities do not have easy access to poll worker requirements or application forms. To help recruit a more diverse, bilingual, and tech-savvy base of poll workers, Fair Elections Center and Development Seed developed workelections.com. This site simplifies the process of becoming a poll worker by matching volunteers with opportunities and information. Help make sure the poll workers behind the table represent our communities and have the skills they need to help voters understand the process. A well-trained poll worker can be the difference between a vote being counted or rejected, and no one who is eligible to vote should be turned away from the polls.

  • View more voting resources from NASW!

 

One-Stop Early Voting

  • One-Stop early voting for the 2020 General Election in NC is from October 15- October 31.
  • Unlike on Election Day, during early voting, you may vote at any early voting site in your county 
    •  You may call your County Board of Elections at (919) 733-7173 or (866) 522-4723 or click the link above to find a one-stop voting site.
  • Same-day registration is available during early voting!
  • Same-day registration requires ID to show proof of residence.
    • Valid forms of identification (for the purpose of voter registration) include: North Carolina driver’s license; photo identification issued by a government agency; A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document showing the voter’s name and address; OR a current college/university photo identification card paired with a current roster prepared by the college/university and transmitted to the county board of elections office, which lists all students residing in campus housing facilities.

 

Justice Involved

  • You must not currently be serving a sentence for a felony conviction (including probation or parole) to vote. An individual cannot register to vote if they are serving an active felony sentence. That is considered a felony.
  • Upon completion of the sentence, the individual’s citizenship rights are restored. However, you must register again to vote in their current county.
  • To avoid any potential difficulties with registering, you should ask for a Certificate of Restoration of Citizenship from their releasing office.
  • You can vote if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor, are serving a jail sentence for a misdemeanor offense, or awaiting trial.

Experiencing Homelessness

  • A home is not required to register to vote, but a place of residence must be identified. This can be a street corner, a park, a shelter, or any other place where a large amount of time is spent. A place to receive mail must be identified as well, like a shelter or a post office box.
  • A Provisional Ballot may be used at the polls if you do not have an ID or does not know their last four digits of your social security number when registering to vote. Ask for this at the polls. It will count if you check a box explaining why you do not have an acceptable ID (a “reasonable impediment”) AND write in your birth date and last four digits of your Social Security number OR show a registration card, utility bill, pay stub, bank statement or any government document with your name/address. 
  • A “reasonable impediment” for not having an ID may be: work / school schedule, lost ID, family duties, lack of transportation, lack of birth certificate, etc.

Military & Overseas

  • Those that are active duty in the military and serving overseas have options when it comes to voting. An individual serving overseas can either mail-in an absentee ballot or they can vote through programs offered only to military and overseas voters that are protected by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA).
    • The person must be a member active or reserve duty for either the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Guard, or state militia on active duty. 
    • A spouse or dependent of an active duty member; A legal North Carolina state resident; A U.S. citizen residing outside the country.
  • Those on active duty overseas can either request a Federal Postcard Application (FPCA) or Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB) to have their votes counted for in their home county. Click here to find out more about requesting a FPCA or FWAB ballot.
  • The military-overseas voter may return his or her voted ballot, including a FWAB, via mail, fax or email. The deadline to return military-overseas ballots is by the close of polls on Election Day (7:30 p.m. EST). Active duty voters overseas can send their FPCA or FWAB through one of the following methods:
    • Mail-in to the state board of elections at:

    NC State Board of Elections

    PO Box 27255 Raleigh, NC 27611-7255

    • Email at: ABSENTEE@ncsbe.gov
    • Fax to: (919) 715-0351

Absentee (Vote by Mail) Ballot

  • Deadline to Request an Absentee Ballot: Oct. 27, 2020
    • Any voter can vote by mail in North Carolina – you do NOT need a special reason.
  • To vote by mail, you need to complete an ABSENTEE BALLOT REQUEST FORM. You can request one via mail, email, or fax.
  • A ballot will be mailed or emailed to you. You must fill out your ballot and return it (in person or by mail) to your COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS by 5 PM on Election Day (or make sure it is postmarked by 5 PM on Election Day).
  • See full instructions on absentee voting in NC here.

NASW-NC PACE Endorsements

NASW-NC's Political Action for Candidate Election Committee (NC-PACE) makes endorsements of candidates running for state elections. These candidates have been vetted by the committee and have been selected because of their support for the social work profession. Social workers may wish to get involved in campaign efforts with these candidates running for office. The NC-PACE will make endorsements for the 2020 general election during the summer of 2020.

 

Just as this committee endorses North Carolina candidates, NASW has a   PACE Committee who makes endorsements of candidates at the Federal level. Click here for a list of candidates this committee has made so far!

 

Voting is Social Work

NASW-NC supports voter engagement work through Voting is Social Work! Here are some tips to help you get involved:

  1. REGISTER and “pledge to participate” at www.votingissocialwork.org.
  2. LEARN about the many resources that Voting is Social Work offers. one of the upcoming live webinars (dates and topics below). Choose one or more that interests you. All webinars will cover the basics plus provide time for Q&A. To access online resources, click here.
  3. JOIN their Facebook Group, the National Social Worker Voter Mobilization Group for ideas and frequent updates on Voting is Social Work activities.
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