ELBA: Don’t wait until general election to cast your vote in 2022

The East Lincoln Betterment Association (ELBA) has held candidate forums during election cycles for 46 years since the organization’s inception. 2022 is an election year, and ELBA is once again providing information and access to county candidates in forums prior to the May primaries. ELBA typically focuses on county races, as candidates in state and federal races have significant access to media and money to get their messages out to the electorate. 

Races for which ELBA has invited primary candidates to its forums this primary are five for the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners, three for sheriff, and nine for the Board of Education’s at-large and district 2 and 5 seats. All five county board candidates, all three sheriff candidates, and seven of nine board of education candidates are running unopposed in the general election. Whoever wins in the primary is the winner in the general election for all seven of these races. It is critical that, if east Lincoln residents are to have a say in county elections and governance, voters register and vote in the primary. The general election is too late.

When you register, you will need to declare your party affiliation. You may register with any recognized party in the state. Party affiliation determines the primary in which a voter is eligible to vote. In a partisan primary, voters affiliated with a political party may only vote their party’s ballot and may not vote in another party’s primary. For example, a registered Republican may only vote in the Republican Party primary. You may also register unaffiliated. As of this writing, all parties which have primaries in 2022 allow unaffiliated voters to vote in its primaries. Unaffiliated voters may choose the Democratic, Libertarian, Republican or nonpartisan ballot (if available) in a primary election. An unaffiliated voter may not vote on more than one party’s ballot.

ELBA forum dates are April 11 for commission candidates, followed by sheriff candidates; and April 12 for board of education candidates. The events will be held in-person at Unity Presbyterian Church, Unity Church Road in Denver. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the forums will begin at 6:30. We anticipate that forum evenings will end between 8:30 and 9 p.m. We plan to record each session and to post online for viewing.

While it may seem early for ELBA to be bringing elections to the fore, please note that March 28 is the first potentially critical date in the registration and voting process.

Important dates are:

March 28: The date by which local boards of elections must make available absentee ballots, unless reduced by five days. For information, visit lccare.org/158/absenteevoting or lccares.org/documentcenterview for an absentee ballot request.

April 22: Civilian voter registration deadline for the primary.

April 28: One-stop, in-person early voting period begins for the primary.

May 10: Deadline for civilians to submit an absentee ballot request form for the primary.

May 14: One-stop, in-person early voting period ends at 3 p.m. for the primary.

May 17: Election Day for the primary and civilian absentee ballot return deadline.

Voter Registration Forms and Locations can be obtained by visiting llcares.org/156/voter-registration.

Print and complete the voter registration forms and bring or mail to Lincoln County Board of Elections Office, 451 Salem Church Road, Lincolnton. The office is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Forms can also be delivered to:

  • Any of Lincoln County’s public libraries during regular hours
  • Department of Motor Vehicles Driver License Division (only while conducting official business)
  • Various agencies (Social Services, Health Department, Agencies dealing with people with Disabilities, Employment Security Commission, Armed Forces Recruitment offices)
  • Public locations including some government offices and political party headquarters.

George Barr is a member of the East Lincoln Betterment Association board. This is part of a Citizen series of columns from regional business services agencies.

One response to “ELBA: Don’t wait until general election to cast your vote in 2022”

  1. Nancy Snell says:

    Do I need to register to attend candidate forum,? And will we be allowed to ask questions? Thank you

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