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#turnOUT the Early Vote in North Carolina

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Submitted by: Noreen Elnady, Field Organizer for TurnOUT North Carolina

Today is the the first day of early voting in North Carolina. The Raleigh team from TurnOUT North Carolina (a project of HRC PAC and Equality NC Action Fund PAC) started off the morning by gathering some of our supporters in our downtown office for coffee and bagels before walking a couple blocks down the street to the Wake County Board of Elections to be among the first people to start in line to early vote.

This was a very exciting day for me especially, since it was my first-ever time voting. I only became a U.S. citizen a couple of months ago, so this was my first chance to have my voice heard, and it was even more meaningful to me that it was in such a crucial election.

This election is very important to me not just because of the consequences of it on the national level, but also on the local level, with HB2 being such a hot topic. HB2 is the reason I am now a field organizer with TurnOUT NC, trying to get as many pro-equality candidates elected this November. But my fight against HB2 started earlier. I actually used to be an intern at the NC General Assembly for a year and a half. In my time there, I was privileged to witness the inner workings of our political system, but also its flaws.

This is where HB2 comes in. The day of the special session, which was a long one but felt like a moment, I was there to witness all of it. I sat through committee meeting and sessions, where I watched our legislators take away the most basic rights of the people in this state, but I also watched the brave transgender people in our community come out and speak up against this awful legislation. That day is when I realized we need to do more.

That is why I am working with TurnOUT NC to get these pro-equality candidates elected. I cannot stress enough the importance of this election. If we achieve our goals, it will send a message across the nation that if you’re an elected official that passes anti-trans legislation, we will work to vote you out of office.

That is why I stood out there as one of the first people in line to early vote, and I hope everyone goes out and does the same. If you want to early vote (which you should!), click here to find early voting locations near you

Today, there are an estimated 255,800 LGBTQ adults living in North Carolina -- a substantial population given that the state was won in the last three presidential elections by an average of 180,500 votes. Nearly 90,000 LGBTQ adults live in the Charlotte Metro Area alone. The LGBTQ voting bloc in North Carolina will play a pivotal role in the presidential, gubernatorial and other down ballot races.

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