Youth ➡You Gotta Vote! The future of our nation depends on us.

Stock Photo – not Author

By Allison Potter

Editor’s note: Allison is a journalism student at NC State University. She offers a unique perspective as she will be voting for the very first time in the March 5 primary.

Precincts, primaries, and what-not: the world of voting, as a seemingly simple task, arrives with so much jargon and unfamiliar terms that make this civic duty seem insurmountably tense.  Being a 19 year old, living in a presidential election year, I am commonly reminded by my peers, role models, and even through advertisements that I need to register to vote, because this is such a crucial task in which for me to partake.

Even through its utmost importance, it remains an unknown realm with many terms that I had never heard. From registering to vote, to casting a ballot, it’s a long task, but it is a civic duty and prestigious right for all young adults to understand and to actively participate in.

This entire journey begins with registering to vote. Most young adults who can legally drive have already registered to vote upon their DMV appointment to receive their driver’s license. If anybody has opted out of registering to vote at this time, or have not yet received their driver’s license, there are still ways to register. This can be done at an NCDMV site online or in person, but can also be done through downloading an online PDF through the North Carolina State Board of Elections website, and then mailing it in.

One can register to vote if they are at least 18 years of age, and a US citizen. Similarly, one must register to vote in the county where they reside. If you are unsure as to whether or not you have previously voted, there is a voter registration lookup also on the NC State Board of Elections website.

If you have not registered, the North Carolina rule for voter registration states that all voters must be registered by at least 25 days before an election. Voting within the county in which a person lives is necessary as it corresponds to their precinct – which is simply  a voting district that is a subdivision of one’s electoral area (usually a county). Precincts are necessary as they determine where a person should vote on a designated Election Day!

There are quite a few precincts within Pamlico County – a geographically large area. Depending on the precinct and the political party, there may be meetings prior to elections in order to spread ideas, opinions, and even ‘propaganda.’ After registering and finding your precinct (and voting location), it is finally time to get to the voting !!

In a presidential election year, the first thing to do is vote in the primaries. With so many presidential candidates across parties, the primary elections serve as a place for voters to select their preferred candidate within their chosen political party. Vote early if you like (starts Feb. 15 this year) or in your precinct on Tuesday, March 5.

Look for most votes to be counted and reported during the evening hours of March 5. The result should be one candidate (from each political party) for every available elective office.

After all of this build up, voting in the ‘general election’ takes place on November 5, 2024.  Although this may seem like a long, strenuous journey, it is crucial for all people — including young adults — to have their voices heard in the form of voting. By voting, all citizens are participating in the democratic process, which our founders fought to have in America. America is built on this system, and it is crucial for all people, no matter their age, to cast their ballot in March and November!