When community activist Martin Ramsey joined Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer and former city official John Miall this July in the mayoral race, he forced a primary in the City of Asheville election. Now, the early voting polls are open in order to narrow the field of three candidates to two.
City elections, including the mayoral race, are nonpartisan. However, Manheimer and Miall are both Democrats. Ramsey is unaffiliated.
The last time the three candidates debated the issues affecting the city (and the first time they had the opportunity to do so) was in late August at a Leadership Asheville Critical Issues Luncheon at the Asheville Country Club.
Tonight, the Asheville Buncombe League of Women Voters will host a free public mayoral candidate forum at the Asheville Chamber of Commerce Board Room (36 Montford Ave.). All candidates have said they will attend and participate. The forum begins at 6 p.m. and will be moderated by WCQS News Director David Hurand and will be simulcast by the Asheville FM News Hour on AshevilleFM.org. The format will include a mix of predetermined questions as well as questions submitted by the audience.
If you missed the Sept. 13 deadline to register to vote, don’t fret: The one-stop early voting process allows individuals to register and vote in the same day by bringing proof of residence to the appropriate polling site. Early voting begins today, Sept. 19 and ends Saturday, Oct. 5. The primary election will be held Tuesday, Oct. 8.
Read the notice below from the City of Asheville regarding the primary for more information:
CITY OF ASHEVILLE, COUNTY OF BUNCOMBE ASHEVILLE CITY PRIMARY
Notice is hereby given that the date for the Primary Election for the City of Asheville (Mayor) will be Tuesday, October 8, 2013. Registration closes for this election on September 13th, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. All residents of the City of Asheville who are registered to vote may vote in this election. Persons wishing to register and vote after the registration deadline may do so by appearing at the one-stop voting site during the one-stop voting period, completing a registration form, and providing proof of residence by presenting valid documents showing current name and address.
One stop voting will begin at the Board of Elections Office at 35 Woodfin Street on September 19, 2013. Voting will take place between the hours of 8:00 until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturday, October 5th, voting will take place from 8:00 until 1:00 p.m.
The absentee by mail period will begin on September 6, 2013 and applications may be obtained by requesting a form from the Board of Elections office at PO Box 7468, Asheville, NC 28801 (828) 250-4200. All ballots, (excluding UOCAVA) must be received in the elections office by October 7th at 5 p.m. or accepted until Friday, October 11th if postmarked no later than October 8th, 2013. The polls will open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. on October 8th, 2012.
Caitlin Byrd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 251-1333, ext. 140.