In some respects, the Mountain Xpress voter guide is among the most straightforward documents we publish. Our reporters reach out to every candidate running in a contested local race to represent Buncombe County, record their answers to the same set of questions and present the results side by side. It’s a direct amplification of the voices that seek to be heard in the halls of government.
But behind the simple commitment to publishing this guide lies the mission that has powered the paper since 1994: “to build community and strengthen democracy by serving an active, thoughtful readership at the local level, where the impact of citizen action is greatest.” Our guide is an act of service, an attempt to give our readers tools for change.
Those who live in these mountains have the right to make informed decisions about their representatives. And those who desire power over others should explain their views on the record, where they can be considered and debated and held to account. People who want the best for Western North Carolina can disagree with passion and respect over how our society should work, but they need a shared set of facts to advance that conversation.
2020 has brought unprecedented challenges to our region’s health, economy and civic life. Yet even with more news to report than ever before, we believe that in-depth coverage of elections remains one of our most critical responsibilities to the public.
Early in-person voting begins Thursday, Oct. 15, and the Buncombe County Board of Elections has more information about when and where to vote. Absentee ballots to vote by mail may be requested through Tuesday, Oct. 27. Polls are open 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3. Xpress has also compiled a list of voting FAQs to answer questions about the process and timeline.
No matter the way in which you cast your ballot, we hope this guide provides the information you need to choose your elected officials. And we hope you’ll continue to see Mountain Xpress as a companion in building community, the work that will not end once the last vote is counted.
Responses from candidates for each contested general election race are available at the pages linked below:
- Asheville City Council
- Buncombe County Board of Commissioners
- Buncombe County Board of Education
- Buncombe County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors
- N.C. House of Representatives Districts 114-116
- N.C. Senate Districts 48-49
- U.S. House of Representatives District 11
Previous Xpress coverage of the 2020 general election is available at the pages linked below:
- “U.S. House race gets expensive” — Oct. 30, 2020
- “After the end: WNC prepares for extended election process” — Oct. 22, 2020
- “City Council candidates talk zoning, land use” — Oct. 16, 2020
- “From NC Health News: How do you vote if you live in a nursing home? It can be complicated.” — Oct. 12, 2020
- “Henderson GOP will likely pick Moffitt to replace McGrady Oct. 8” — Oct. 8, 2020
- “Black Mountain candidates share visions for town” — Oct. 2, 2020
- “Asheville City Council, Buncombe County board candidates weigh in on arts policy” — Sept. 29, 2020
- “COVID-19 campaigning divides local candidates along partisan lines” – Sept. 26, 2020
- “Buncombe County Election Services gears up for 2020 voting crunch” – Sept. 17, 2020
- “Henderson County protects Cawthorn after threats” – Sept. 9, 2020
- “Candidates for 11th Congressional District meet in first debates” – Sept. 7, 2020
- “Night two: Cawthorn and Davis debate in Cullowhee” (live blog) – Sept. 5, 2020
- “Video: Cawthorn, Davis debate Sept. 4” (live blog) – Sept. 4, 2020
- “Ripple effect: City Council appointment opens new political possibilities” – Sept. 4, 2020
- “WNC’s congressional seat may truly be in play this year” – Sept. 3, 2020
- “Nicole Townsend withdraws from Asheville City Council race” – Aug. 25, 2020
- “Cawthorn takes Republican nomination for NC-11 seat” – June 24, 2020
- “Record-breaking turnout makes Buncombe primary picks” – March 4, 2020