The Nov. 3 general election is fewer than 100 days away, and Jackson County residents have some big decisions to make.
Below is a sample of some of the candidates in the running.
For the Jackson County Board of Commissioners District 3 seat, Democrat Susan Bogardus will face off against Republican Tom Stribling. The seat is being vacated by Ron Mau.
District 4 Republican incumbent Mickey Luker also did not file for re-election. Democrat Mark Jones, a former commissioner, and Republican Mark Letson are eyeing the seat.
Candidates for N.C. House Representative District 119 are Democrat incumbent Joe Sam Queen and Republican Mike Clampitt, who previously held the seat.
For N.C. State Senate District 50, Democrat Victoria Fox will go against Republican Kevin Corbin, a current state house member.
The candidates for U.S. House N.C. District 11 include Democrat Moe Davis, Republican Madison Cawthorn, Tamara Zwinak of the Green Party and Libertarian Tracey DeBruhl.
Republican incumbent Thom Tillis, Democrat Cal Cunningham, Libertarian Shannon Bray, Kevin Hayes of the Constitution Party and Jeremy Thomas of the Independence Party are all candidates for U.S. Senate.
The race for governor includes Democrat incumbent Roy Cooper, Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, Libertarian Steven DiFiore and Al Pisano of the Constitution Party.
Voters will decide other council of state races, such as lieutenant governor, superintendent of public instruction, attorney general, commissioner of agriculture, commissioner of labor, state auditor, commissioner of insurance, treasurer and secretary of state, and various judicial seats.
During this pandemic, some may be hesitant to go out and vote in November. The Jackson County Board of Elections does have solutions, including absentee ballots.
To receive a mail-in absentee ballot, a State Absentee Ballot Request Form must be filled out and emailed, faxed, or hand-delivered to the Jackson County Board of Elections. The form can be found on the N.C. State Board of Elections website at www.ncsbe.gov. The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the Nov. 3 election is 5 p.m. on Oct. 27. The voted ballot must be returned to the county board of elections by Nov. 3 at 5 p.m.
The State Board previously made an emergency amendment to an administrative rule clarifying that the executive director may take emergency actions if necessary to conduct elections when a disease epidemic or other public health incident “makes it impossible or extremely hazardous for elections officials or voters to reach or otherwise access the voting place or that creates a significant risk of physical harm to persons in the voting place, or that would otherwise convince a reasonable person to avoid traveling to or being in a voting place.”
Recommendations are being drafted that may result in amended requirements for mail-in absentee voting, among other steps to ensure a significant number of poll workers are available. One example of these changes being the number of witnesses required to sign a voter’s absentee ballot has been reduced from two to one.
State Board staff members have participated in elections-specific briefings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security.
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has published guidance about the cleaning of voting equipment, which is available at www.eac.gov/election-officials/coronavirus-covid-19-resources.