News-Miner opinion: Today marks something akin to the start of a mad dash to the finish line. With 15 days left until Tuesday, Oct. 5 — Election Day — candidates for municipal and borough seats will, hopefully, be visible and engaged with the public, allowing you, the voter, the find out all you can about their platforms, goals and policies.
Add to that the beginning of early and absentee voting, which starts today, and you’ve got yourself an election.
Voters wanting to cast ballots early can do so from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Sept. 30 at Shopper’s Forum Mall, 1255 Airport Way, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 26, also at Shopper’s Forum. In-person absentee voting is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Oct. 4, Monday through Friday, at the clerks’ offices of the cities of Fairbanks and North Pole, and Oct. 1-4 at Shopper’s Forum Mall. Of course, polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 5 for those who want to cast ballots at their polling locations. Don’t know your polling location? Call the Division of Election’s polling place line at 1-888-383-8683 to find out.
And surely if you’re taking advantage of early voting, you’ve at least watched a forum online, listened to a broadcast or attended one of the many forums that candidates have participated in during the past few weeks. The forums aren’t over, with one more slated this week.
That forum, moderated by The League of Women Voters of the Tanana Valley, KUAC FM 89.9, and the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, starts at 7 p.m. Friday in the Borough Assembly chambers, 907 Terminal St., and will be broadcast live on KUAC as well as covered by the News-Miner. It’s a first, this joint effort political forum, and one we’re eager for and grateful to participate in. We want to know as much about the candidates as you do.
You can expect to hear more from candidates this week as our series of profiles starts on Friday, detailing each race and who’s seeking that office. Profiles will run every day through Oct. 3 with the hope that you learn all you can about the potential office holder.
Of course, if you somehow miss a forum or skip a profile, you can keep up right here on this page. News-Miner readers are a vocal bunch and not timid about sharing their opinions. Letters to the editor supporting your candidate of choice is a longtime News-Miner tradition. Words of endorsements have already started flowing in, with more lined up in the coming days. We’ll print as many of your letters as we can through Sunday, Oct. 3, but we must have them in our inbox no later than 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 29. If you want to rally support for your favorite pick, now is the time to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our hope is you are paying attention this election cycle, either via political forums, candidate profiles or by talking to candidates one on one. The next step is showing up, either voting early this week or voting in person on Oct. 5. That part falls on you — electing the next slate of public officials who will guide and shape the future of the Fairbanks North Star Borough.