Good morning, Asheville. 👋 Did you know Election Day is only 19 days away? In NC, early voting begins today + we want to make sure you know how to find your polling place if you’re ready to cast your vote.
🗳️When can I vote early? Today through Sat., Oct. 31. Hours vary, see schedule here.
🗳️Where can I vote early? Any early voting site within your county of residence. Click here to select your county and view locations near you. ProTip: If you plan to cast your vote on Election Day, you’ll need to look up your assigned polling place here.
🗳️Do I need to be registered to vote? Yes. You can check your status by clicking here. If you missed the registration period, you can still register to vote at your early voting site (or at your polling place on Election Day). This is called same-day registration and you will need to provide documentation showing your full name and current address. Learn more here.
🗳️If I vote early, can I also vote on Election Day? No. Your early voting ballot will be recorded as your official vote for the 2020 elections. Polling officials will see that you’ve already voted.
🗳️Is it safe to vote in-person at an early voting site? A mask mandate is currently in effect to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. If this guidance changes, you can find updates on the state elections board’s website.
🗳️Is it too late to vote absentee? No. Absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day will be processed through November 6, or until a certified winner is declared for all elected positions. If you plan to vote absentee, it is recommended that you submit your ballot now to ensure it is received on time. Click here to find out how to request yours.
🗳️Who should I vote for? That’s up to you. We’ve done our best to round up all of the local candidates’ priorities in our 2020 Election Guide + you can read our Editorial Ethics Policy here.
Civic ○ Today is the last day to respond to the 2020 Census. Paper responses should be postmarked for Oct. 15, phone responses will follow this schedule + internet response will be available until 11:59 p.m. Data collected determines federal fund distribution to local communities + the number of seats states hold in the US House of Representatives. ✅ (NC Demography)
Development ○ Asheville Regional Airport has released renderings for its expansion + modernization plans. Drawings show a redesigned terminal that’s twice its current size, more gates, a larger ticket counter, an expanded area for security screening + more concessions. Officials say the design phase should take roughly 18 months to complete before construction — which is expected to begin in late 2021 or early 2022 — can start.✈️ (WLOS)
Outdoors ○ We could soon see more muskellunge — a.k.a., muskies — in WNC thanks to a newly restored wetland at the mouth of Mud Creek. This is courtesy of work from the wildlife commission, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and area nonprofit Conserving Carolina. Muskies are native to the region, but have been scant over the last century due to loss of habitat + pollution. The restored wetland will not only help bring muskies’ natural spawning to the river, but help balance the river’s ecosystem. 🐟 (Asheville Citizen-Times)
Edu ○ Great news for college-bound students from WNC. UNC Asheville + Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos have joined forces to create the Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise Scholarship Endowment. The scholarship will provide an annual award of more than $1,000 each year to qualified students. The first scholarship will be awarded to a student in the UNC Asheville Class of 2025. 🎓
Arts ○ Street Creature Puppet Collective is losing their work space. Now, they’re searching for a 1,000 square feet or more in a commercial, industrial, or retail building — even a barn or basement — from which the volunteer group can continue their work. Ideally, the group would love for the space to be donated or offered below market rate. Help out with their search here. 🦄
Coronavirus ○ Check out the latest COVID-19 stats for NC from the Department of Health and Human Serviceshere. As of Wednesday afternoon, 3,643 cases and 93 deaths have been reported in Buncombe County.
Trending ○ If there’s one drawback to fall and its cooler temps, it’s stink bugs, who are most active during fall months. To keep them outdoors, experts say to ensure all windows + doors are sealed. If they do get inside, be sure to sweep them up with a broom — don’t squish them, as that can activate the glands responsible for their malodorous scent. 👃 (WLOS)
FeaturedJob ○ We’re hiring! Come work with us at RALtoday, and join our team as an Editor. Key responsibilities include educating Raleigh through our daily newsletter and social platforms. Learn more about the position here. Ⓟ
Click the button below for local resources regarding the coronavirus.
Talk about a lucky break. This year, high school seniors throughout the state will have twice as long to apply to colleges, thanks to the annual College Application Week being extended from Oct. 19-30. Better still?More than 40 colleges + universities in the Tarheel State waive their application fees during this time frame.
Best wishes to all the seniors out there. We know you’re gonna be great.
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Civic ○ Early Voting Kickoff Event| Thurs., Oct. 15 | 8 p.m. | Rabbit Rabbit, 75 Coxe Ave. | Free | Vote AVL will be sharing information on how + when to vote in the 2020 election. 🗳️
PlanAhead ○ African Americans in WNC and Southern Appalachia Conference | Fri., Oct. 16 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Virtual | Free; register | The seventh annual event from UNC Asheville will be condensed into a one-day Zoom this year and will include featured presentations and a Q&A discussion. ○ Songs From The Road Band| Fri., Oct. 16 | 5-10 p.m. | One World Brewing West, 520 Haywood Rd. | $10 | Award winning bluegrass band Songs From The Road will play on One World West’s patio. 🎤 ○ Kitty Tsunami| Fri., Oct. 16 | 6-8 p.m. | Fleetwood’s, 496 Haywood Rd. | $10 | Psych rock band Kitty Tsunami performs on Fleetwood’s patio. 🎸 ○ Cider Cinema: Hocus Pocus| Fri., Oct. 16 | 6:30-10 p.m. | Bold Rock Hard Cider, 72 School House Rd., Mills River | Free | Enjoy the classic film on the big screen. Food + popcorn will be available for purchase. 🎥
Find more of this week’s local events in our October PlanAhead.
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.