Sep 9, 2022 - Politics

2022 election guide for Wake County voters

Illustration of an acorn with an "I Voted" sticker
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Absentee ballots start going out today to North Carolina voters who’ve requested them.

  • That means, believe it or not, the first votes for the 2022 midterms will begin trickling in as early as next week.

Driving the news: Around 53,000 North Carolinians have requested absentee ballots, and nearly 11,000 of those are from Wake County — more than any other county in the state, N.C. elections board spokesperson Pat Gannon told Axios.

Today we're sharing the first run of a Smart Brevity, handy-dandy, user-friendly election guide for Wake County. We’ll update it throughout the fall with more information, the latest news and deeper stories on select races, right up until Election Day.

  • We’ll have a guide to Durham’s races next week.

Why it matters: Your vote always matters. But this year North Carolina voters could help determine whether Democrats hold on to both chambers of Congress, or whether Republicans take control of the state Supreme Court and win a supermajority in the legislature.

  • Plus: The local races, though they receive less hype, will influence your everyday life.

How to see what'll be on your ballot: Head to the state’s voter registration lookup, search your name and scroll until you see a heading titled “YOUR SAMPLE BALLOT.” Click the link under “Your Sample Ballot(s).”

Key dates

Oct. 14: Voter registration deadline.

Oct. 20:  One-stop, in-person early voting period begins. Wake County will have 15 early voting sites; Durham County will have eight. Find sites in your county here.

Nov. 1:  Deadline to submit an absentee ballot request.

Nov. 5:  Early voting ends.

Nov. 8:  Election Day.

Voting by mail

If you’ve already filled out your absentee request form, your ballot is on its way and you can fill it out and mail it when you’re ready.

Statewide races

U.S. Senate: U.S. Rep. Ted Budd (Republican) faces former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley (Democrat) in the race to replace retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr. This is among the most competitive Senate races in the country and will play a role in determining which party has the majority in the chamber next year. 

State Supreme Court: The winners of these seats will play a role in determining which party has control over the court. Democrats have a narrow 4-3 majority on the court now, but seats up for grabs are currently held by Democratic judges. Republicans hope to flip both seats. If they do, North Carolina will likely see different outcomes in cases like last year’s redistricting challenges.


2nd Congressional District: Christine Villaverde (Republican) v. U.S. Rep. Deborah Ross (Democratic incumbent) 

13th Congressional District: Bo Hines (Republican) will face state Sen. Wiley Nickel (Democrat) in November, in the race for a highly competitive U.S. House race. 

State Legislature

19 state legislative seats are on Wake County ballots. (See Senate maps to find your district, and House maps.) Here are some of the races to watch that may help determine whether Republicans claim a supermajority:


District Attorney: Jeff Dobson (Republican) v. Lorrin Freeman (Democratic incumbent) 

Sheriff: Donnie Harrison (Republican who served as sheriff from 2002 to 2018) will face Willie Rowe (Democrat) in the race to replace Democratic Sheriff Gerald Baker, who lost to Rowe in July’s runoff election

Raleigh Mayor: DaQuanta Copeland, Mary-Ann Baldwin (incumbent) and Terrance Ruth

Raleigh City Council (find your district map here)

Board of Commissioners

Nonpartisan races on your ballot: Wake County Board of Education and Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor


Editor's note: This story was originally published on Sept. 9. Check back for updates and additions throughout election season.


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