The mute button on my remote control is nearly worn out. My home mailbox runneth over with glossy campaign mailers. My email inbox overfloweth with subject lines like: "Please help us, Lisa," and "Listen, I'm urging you."
The INDY's endorsements are a way to cut through the noise, to read analyses of races that keep the greater good in mind. The process works like this: The news staff sends questionnaires to the candidates and conduct background research on them, including political experience, voting record, other endorsements and criminal background checks.
After we receive the completed questionnaires, the news staff discusses the pros and cons of each candidate. We judge the candidates on several criteria: experience, intelligence and their commitment to making the Triangle a more just and progressive place to live.
Then we vote on whom to endorse. Each news reporter writes a set of endorsements; however, these stories are not bylined because the endorsements represent the opinion of the INDY as an institution.
A quick note: Last month we held two candidates' forums, which substituted for questionnaires in those races: In Wake County, commissioners in Districts 1, 2, 3 and 7; N.C. House 40 and 41; and State Senate 16 and 17. In Orange County, the forum featured commissioners' candidates in District 1, plus N.C. 23, House 50 and House 56.
As to who is giving how much to whom, campaign finance reports for the third quarter aren't due until Oct. 27, a little over a week before Election Day. We'll blog the reports—sometimes they take a while for the boards of election to process them—that week.
Read the questionnaires and view the forums available through INDY Week's site.
Early voting runs from Thursday, Oct. 23 to Saturday, Nov. 1. Here is a list of sites by county. Times differ daily; call ahead with questions (see clip-out voting guide, page 5)
Board of Elections, 337 S. Salisbury St., Raleigh
Apex Community Center, 53 Hunter St., Apex
Chavis Community Center, 505 MLK Blvd., Raleigh
Herbert Young Community Center, 101 Wilkinson Ave., Cary
Knightdale Recreation Center, 102 Lawson Ridge Road, Knightdale
Lake Lynn Community Center, 7921 Ray Road, Raleigh
Northern Regional Center, 350 E. Holding Ave., Wake Forest
Optimist Community Center, 5900 Whittier Drive, Raleigh
Wake Tech Main Campus, 9101 Fayetteville Road, Raleigh
Board of Elections, 201 N. Roxboro St.
N.C. Central University, student union building, 1801 Fayetteville St.
North Regional Library, 221 Milton Road
South Regional, 4505 S. Alston Ave.
Board of Elections, 208 S. Cameron St., Hillsborough
Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main St., Carrboro
Seymour Senior Center, 2551 Homestead Road, Chapel Hill
North Carolina Hillel, 210 W. Cameron Ave., Chapel Hill
Master's Garden Preschool 7500 Schley Road, Hillsborough
northern/central Chatham County
Board of Elections, 984-E1 Thompson St., Pittsboro
Cole Park Plaza, Suite 232, 11470 U.S. 15-501 N., Chapel Hill