While the 2020 election buzz is dominated by the presidential election, the races that impact day-to-day life in Haywood more than any are those closest to home.

That includes the individuals who oversee how local schools operate; how the county oversees everything from the property tax rate to how the county grows; how the district courts operate and your voices in the state legislature.

The Mountaineer has always provided a plethora of information about local political races, and this year is no exception.

One difference, however, is that we are providing the coverage much earlier than usual. That’s because of the unprecedented interest in absentee ballots being requested by mail — and the fact the ballots are being filled out by voters earlier than ever.

The Mountaineer website now has a 2020 Election section that features candidate forums, news stories on the races, plus up-to-date voting information.

Political reporter Kyle Perrotti has a standing interview with Haywood County Elections Director Robbie Inman each Tuesday and Friday morning so that The Mountaineer readers will get the most recent information available regarding the number of absentee ballots returned, and the number of individuals who have voted after Oct. 15, once in-person early voting begins.

The candidate forums will also be available on the Haywood County government access channels until early November, but the news coverage will only be in newspapers leading up to the election and on our website.

To directly access the election page, go to www.themountaineer.com/election2020.

Elections are about setting the course of our future, and in America, we have an opportunity to make those decisions regularly.

Be a responsible voter by learning about the candidates and making a choice that reflects what is at the top of your priorities list.

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