Letter: Rethink ‘Xpress’ voter guide, timing

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I applaud the efforts of the Mountain Xpress to provide candidate information to those voting. It is so important for everyone to have all the information they need in order to vote for the candidates who align with their values.

However, I want to share my concerns about breaking this information into three issues, as that appears to be the case. Those concerns are:

Voting is challenging nowadays and especially in North Carolina. With the recent redrawing of districts, the injunction that made needing a valid photo ID to vote in the primary unneeded and other issues, many voters are confused. Everything that can be done to make it easier for people to vote is important. Having a candidates guide like the Mountain Xpress provides can help address some of that confusion.

However, doing a three-part series on candidates requires that each voter compile those issues together in order to have all the information you offer before voting. That requires a concerted effort by each voter to get not just one, but three different issues of the Mountain Xpress to vote.

If a voter is able to get all three issues, however, they will lose many of the days they can early vote. The voter would need to [have waited] until Feb. 26 at the earliest to have all the information, with only four days remaining for early voting.

Again, I appreciate you providing this information, but I urge you to compile all of this information in one issue and have it available shortly before early voting starts for the upcoming general election in November. In that way, the Mountain Xpress will give voters the benefit of this information on day one of early voting.

— Ron Katz


Editor’s note: We appreciate this feedback, which echoes similar concerns raised by other readers. Due to the unusually large field for the U.S. House District 11 race and the shift of Asheville City Council voting to even years that began this election season, it was financially infeasible for Xpress to devote the space needed to cover all of the primary contests in a single print issue. The entire voter guide was available online at avl.mx/6y3 on the afternoon of Feb. 12, the day before early voting began, and readers were directed to that resource in print, on social media and through our email newsletter. Readers who would like to support our election coverage — and all of our local reporting — can visit supportmountainx.com and become a Mountain Xpress member.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

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