MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Tuesday is Election Day, and voters across the Carolinas are preparing. More than 1 million people live in Mecklenburg County, but election officials say fewer than 30,000 people took part in early voting this year.
All voting locations in Mecklenburg County will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, and voters that are in line by 7:30 p.m. will still be able to cast a ballot.
A photo ID is not required, but voters need to make sure they go to the correct polling place. You can find your polling place based on your address here.
So once you make it to the polls, what can you expect to see on the ballots this year?
Charlotte's Mayoral Race
First up, Charlotte's mayoral race. Current Democratic Mayor Vy Lyles is up against Republican candidate David Michael Rice. If Lyles win, she'll be the first Charlotte mayor in years to be reelected.
Charlotte hasn't elected a mayor for a second term since 2011.
Charlotte's City Council race
Next, the Charlotte City Council has several seats up for grabs: four at-large members positions are available, and multiple districts have two candidates. All positions are expected to have a write-in option.
For City Council At-Large, five candidates are running for the four positions: Dimple Ajmera (D), Julie Eiselt (D), James 'Smuggie' Mitchell (D), Braxton David Winston II (D) and Joshua Richardson (R).
For District 1, Larken Egleston (D) is running unopposed.
For District 2, Malcolm Graham (D) and Jacob Robinson (R) are running.
For District 3, Victoria Watlington (D) is running unopposed.
For District 4, Renee Perkins Johnson (D) and Brandon Pierce (R) are running.
For District 5, Matt Newton (D) is running unopposed.
For District 6, Gina Navarrete (D) and Tariq Scott Bokhari (R) are running.
For District 7, Ed Driggs (R) is running unopposed.
CMS Board of Education race
There are three seats on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education up for grabs, and 13 candidates vying for the job. The positions oversee the school district’s vital departments including budget and curriculum.
The candidates are Annette Albright, Elyse Dashew, Jennifer De La Jara, Gregory R. Denlea, Jenna Moorehead, Donna J. Parker-Tate, Jordan Pineda, Olivia Scott, Lenora Shipp, Stephanie M. Sneed, Duncan St. Clair, Queen Thompson, and Monty Witherspoon.
Voters are able to select or write-in three options.
Sales tax referendum
Finally, the sales tax referendum made the ballot. Some people believe that will be the most-watched vote come election night. Voters will decide whether or not to increase the sales tax across the county.
If passed the sales tax would jump from its current 7.25% to 7.5%.
The Mecklenburg County government website said if the tax hike passes, the funding percentages are expected to be 45% for arts and culture, 34% for county parks and greenways, 16% for education and 5% for arts and culture/parks for the towns.
"I am wholeheartedly opposing the sales tax," city council member Tariq Bokhari said.
Those who oppose the tax hike say too much money would go to teachers and the arts and take away from other needs like affordable housing, while those in support say teachers and the arts are not more important, but just as necessary.
"This is one tool that we can use to help from an economic perspective, from a community-building perspective to move our community forward," Board Chair Valecia M. McDowell with the Arts and Science Council said.
If the measure passes it would mean for every $20 spent in the county, you would spend an extra nickel.
A similar attempt to raise the sales tax in 2014 failed 61% to 39%