Last updated: June 01. 2013 6:58AM - 283 Views
Nathan Ham
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As early voting gets underway this week, Ashe County voters have two resources to assist them in making informed decisions by learning about the candidates on their ballot.

Today, Oct. 16, from 4 pm until 6:30 pm the Ashe County Board of Elections invites voters and candidates to an open house in their offices on the second floor of the courthouse.

Board of Elections Director John Shepherd said that the open house will give voters a chance to meet candidates in a non-campaigning atmosphere as well as see where the office is and how the “flow” will work for early voting which begins Thursday, Oct. 18.

“We definitely encourage people to get out and vote in this election,” said Shepherd.

Another valuable resource available to voters is the 2012 N.C. Voter Guide, available online at NCVoterGuide.org. The voter guide is produced by the nonpartisan N.C. Center for Voter Education and UNC-TV statewide public television.

Founded in 1999, the N.C. Center for Voter Education is a Raleigh-based nonprofit and nonpartisan organization dedicated to helping citizens fully participate in democracy.

Along with information on voting in North Carolina, the guide includes profiles on candidates spanning the ballot in all 100 counties, from U.S. president and governor, to Congress, the state legislature, courts and county-level offices.

As a new feature this year, voters can enter their address to create a personalized ballot that includes their congressional and legislative races, along with statewide and local contests.

“Our research has found that the top reasons why voters don’t go to the polls is because they lack information about the candidates on their ballot,” said Brent Laurenz, executive director of the N.C. Center for Voter Education. The 2012 N.C.Voter Guide is designed to give voters information about all of the candidates, especially in those races often overshadowed by the presidential contest.”

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