Published On: Tue, Aug 21st, 2018

COMMENTARY: Why you should vote in all elections


Decisions made at all levels of government (President and Congress in Washington, DC, General Assembly in Raleigh and County Commissioners, Sheriffs, Courts, etc.) impact your daily lives.  All federal laws passed by the US Congress directly impact us in our local communities.    How our North Carolina State Representative and Senator votes on issues such as fracking, Medicaid expansion, education, Indian Health Service, environmental issues, etc. should be a concern to you.

You have the right to vote in county, state, and national elections.  American Indians sent more volunteers, per capita, to fight America’s wars, than any other group of people in America. Many Cherokee people have fought and died for the freedom to give you the right to vote.    Take full advantage of this right as your vote does count.  Many elections have been won by one or two votes.  Voting makes sure your voice and opinions are heard.   Convicted felons can now vote in North Carolina if they have served their time and are no longer on probation or parole.

Be an informed voter.  Don’t believe the negative ads you see on TV, what is mailed to you or on social media.  If the person running for office is currently serving, check out their voting record and who their major contributors are.  If they have not been in office, check out their platform and look at what they have done in their lives and how that might agree with your concerns and values.

The Electoral College applies only to the presidential election and does not have any effect on other political races.  There are no presidential elections this year, but there will be in 2020.  Whoever is elected president appoints Supreme Court Justices whose appointments are for life and can determine the course of history for generations.

Two EBCI members from Jackson and Swain Counties will be on the November ballot. You can register to vote at any time at your local Board of Elections during regular office hours.  The date for the general election is Nov. 6.  The deadline for registering for the Nov. 6 election is Oct. 12.  However, you can register and vote during the early voting period from Oct. 17 to Nov. 3 and you need to provide a photo ID.  A tribal enrollment card is acceptable.  In the general election in November, you can vote for anyone from any party.

Regardless of what party you are or what candidates you support, please exercise your right to vote and vote by absentee ballot, early voting or on Election Day. The future of your children, grandchildren and the Tribe is at stake.


Mary A. Herr