Government, North Carolina, Public Health

We all should vote March 15 (or earlier)

February 17, 2016

Primaries matter: Register by this Friday, Feb. 19

I hope that everyone at the Gillings School—and in any way connected with the School—who is a North Carolinian will vote in the primary election on Tuesday, March 15. Every election matters, but this one matters especially.

I won’t announce my preferred candidates, but our choices offer some stark contrasts for shaping the country we want this to be in the future. I’m thinking about candidates in terms of characteristics such as fairness and valuing of diversity and inclusion, and their positions on gun control, the Affordable Care Act, social and health equity, women’s reproductive health rights and reducing income inequalities.

The Connect NC Bonds Act on the ballot is a bipartisan concern and will provide funds for a new, much-needed building for the UNC School of Medicine, along with many other infrastructure needs, including water and sewer upgrades. The School of Medicine needs a new building for classrooms and other activities, and it benefits us all to keep the medical school strong. With the aging of the state’s population, there will be an urgent need for more physicians. Of course, we’d like them all to be trained in public health, as well!

In the last election, I was proud to be the first early voter at Chapel of the Cross, on East Franklin Street. I love early voting. I like knowing that whatever happens between early voting day and election day, my vote will count. For answers to questions about who can vote in North Carolina primaries and general elections, and how, visit the website. Below is some information about voting logistics, including how to register, provided by Student Affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Maybe I’ll see you during early voting—I hope so!


If you plan to vote in the upcoming primary election—for president, governor, senate, North Carolina legislature, local races or the Connect NC bond—you must be registered to vote by Friday, February 19, 2016.

To register to vote in North Carolina, you can access voter registration forms online through the North Carolina State Board of Elections <>. You may also pick up a hard copy form at Davis Library or in the Student Government Suite: Carolina Union, Room 3109.

Completed forms dropped off at the front desk of the Student Government Suite will be delivered to the Orange County Board of Elections, FREE of charge. If you choose to mail your own form, please remember to postmark it no later than the deadline of February 19, 2016. Forms can be mailed from any mailbox on campus, including the UNC Student Stores Post Office on the bottom floor.

Early voting runs March 3 through March 12. The nearest location for registered Orange County voters will be Chapel of the Cross, 304 East Franklin Street. The University will send information about early voting locations, dates, and times in early March.

The national voter registration form for registering to vote in other states may be accessed at

This message is sponsored by: Student Affairs.

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The views expressed in this blog are Barbara Rimer’s alone and do not represent the views and policies of The University of North Carolina or the Gillings School.