North Carolina, Here’s a Quick Reminder of What’s at Stake on Election Day

Voters in Wake Forest wait in long lines to cast their ballots on the first day of early voting. (Shutterstock)

By Michael McElroy

September 12, 2022

Your vote on Nov. 8 could make all the difference in climate change, school funding, and equitable health care. 

Sometimes you have to be a broken record to prevent a broken democracy: There are 56 days until Election Day, and there’s a heck of a lot on the line.

We’ve written about the nuts and bolts of registering to vote in North Carolina, how to request an absentee ballot, and where to find your early voting site. And in the coming days and weeks, we’ll spend more time talking about the details of North Carolina’s high profile elections and why they matter. 

But as we begin the final sprint toward the 2022 midterms, we thought it was worth a fast reminder of what’s at stake. Consider this a shot of election espresso to get us all motivated to ensure our voices are heard this fall.

  • Reproductive freedom is on the ballot. Republicans in the General Assembly have promised to pass legislation severely restricting abortion access IF they ever gain a supermajority that would allow them to override a veto from Gov. Roy Cooper. They need to pick up only three seats in the state House and two in the state Senate to do so, and this election will be the deciding factor.
  • The state Supreme Court will be the final battleground for several major issues affecting North Carolinians’ daily lives, including abortion access, health care, and equitable schools. Democrats on the court, who have ruled against unfair election maps and are expected to compel the legislature to adequately fund schools, could lose their slim majority on the court.
  • North Carolina could help decide which party controls the US Senate. Your vote for either Democrat Cheri Beasley or Republican Ted Budd will determine how—or even whether—the US addresses big picture problems like the climate crisis and inflation.
  • And local elections are pitting those who believe in free and fair elections against those who want to restrict the vote and who, like Budd, supported former President Donald Trump’s attempts to illegally overturn the results of the 2020 election.

OK, that’s it. That’s the post.

(An earlier version of this article misspelled the last name of North Carolina’s Democratic nominee for the US Senate. She is Cheri Beasley, not Beasly.)


  • Michael McElroy

    Michael McElroy is Cardinal & Pine's political correspondent. He is an adjunct instructor at UNC-Chapel Hill's Hussman School of Journalism and Media, and a former editor at The New York Times.

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