The candidate filing period ended last week– do you know who your local candidates are?
2022 is an important year for local elections, y’all! Depending on where you are in rural North Carolina, you’ll see sheriffs, county commissioners, and school board seats on the ballot this year. All of these positions have a HUGE impact on our day-to-day lives in small towns and rural communities.
Here’s three tips you can use to find out who’s running and where you can find information about what they stand for.
First, find out who the candidates are in your county and town.
Head over to either the North Carolina State Board of Elections website or your county’s Board of Elections website. Either website should lead you to a candidate list for your county! Here’s the link to the statewide list of candidates– over a thousand pages of info on who’s filed across North Carolina. You can find your county BOE here!
While you’re on the North Carolina State Board of Elections website, you can also use the Local Voter Tool to find all of the voting dates for your county.
If they’re an incumbent candidate (already in office and running for re-election), check their record.
North Carolina’s Open Meetings Law requires that every elected board and body provide “full and accurate” (quoted from the statute) minutes for the general public for all official meetings. Because of this, you can go back and check the voting record or history of stances of any incumbent candidate to make sure their record is in line with your values.
To find this information, start at the .gov website for your local county, then look for the body (such as board of education or board of commissioners). Once you navigate to the government body, you should be able to find meetings and minutes!
Use the example from Rockingham County below!
You can find even MORE candidate information on the internet.
Most candidates for state, county, and even local town offices will have an online presence! Places you can find information online include:
- Their candidate website. This will have the information they want you to know about their candidacy and platform.
- Ballotpedia.com is an excellent resource for understanding what races are happening in your county and learning more about who the candidates are.
Many will also have a social media profile to make it easier for constituents to learn more about their views and even contact them for more information. You can usually find state candidates on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Local candidates tend to be most readily available on Facebook.
Facebook allows electoral candidates to create pages specifically for their campaigns– you may have seen one cross your news feed recently! An official candidate page on Facebook will tell you who the candidate is, where they’re running, how to contact them, and who is paying for the page. Not all candidates have official pages, so you may have to type the name of your candidates into the search bar to find their personal page. Either way, using social media is a great way to get familiar with the people that could represent you!
When in doubt, use Google!
You can also use Google to find more information about candidates that might pop up on the ballot this year. Our tip: use quotation marks around the name you’re searching to find more accurate results. Sometimes you can find them on talk shows, or even writing their own blog. There’s a chance that you could run into misinformation and disinformation by searching for candidates on Google. If you’d like to learn more about spotting bad information in your community, come to our next misinformation training!
When it comes to local candidates, there’s few things more important than getting to know where they stand and how their representation would affect you. Stay ahead of the game by staying informed!