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Election season here

Signs are popping up all over town — campaign posters signaling that muncipal elections are just three weeks away.
Now’s the time for voters to plug in, make their concerns known and prepare to cast ballots on Nov. 5. Some upcoming candidate forums should make that easier.
Unfortunately, the politics most on everyone’s mind is the fallout from the budget wars in Washington. A recent Gallup poll found approval for Congress at 11 percent, and that was in the first week of the federal shutdown. It might be worse now.
Members of Congress don’t come up for election until next year, though, so try to focus some attention on the town board and city council elections coming up next month. If Gallup were to conduct a poll among the 10 municipalities in Rowan County, their elected leaders would probably fare much better than our U.S. senators and repressentatives in popularity and effectiveness. But involved citizens take nothing for granted.

In the Salisbury City Council race, at least two forums are slated in the coming weeks:
n West End Pride, a group of residents and friends of the West End community, will host a forum for Salisbury candidates 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Miller Recreation Center, 1402 W. Bank St.
n Catawba College, the Rowan Chamber of Commerce and the Salisbury Post will hold a City Council forum 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, in the Peeler-Crystal Lounge at Catawba College. We’re still asking Post readers for questions which moderator Dr. Michael Bitzer might pose to the seven candidates who have agreed to come — Karen Alexander, Maggie Blackwell, Blake Jarman, Brian Miller, William Peoples and Paul Woodson. Email questions to editor@salisburypost.com and/or jmbitzer@catawba.edu.
The Chamber of Commerce has also stepped forward to help with a candidate forum for the Spencer Board of Aldermen at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, at the Spencer Fire Department, 208 S. Salisbury Ave. Mark Lewis will moderate and Elaine Spalding will be timekeeper.

Meanwhile, here are some other items to note regarding the election:
n Early voting begins this Thursday, with a polling place set up at Rowan Public Library, 201 W. Fisher St. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday (Oct. 17-Nov. 1) and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2. (Enter in the back near Church Street with handicap ramp.)
n If you’re not already registered to vote, you have nearly missed the boat for this election; registration books closed Oct. 11. However, you can still register at the library polling place during early voting. For details, call the Rowan County Board of Elections, 704-216-8140.
n Applications for absentee ballots are being taken through Oct. 29 at the Board of Elections, 130 W. Innes St., and are due back Nov. 4.
n On Election Day — Tuesday, Nov. 5 — polls in the municipalities will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Then you can relax for awhile, but not too long. Filing for the 2014 elections begins Feb. 10.

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