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Long story short 

Most of us like the idea of mail ballots coming directly to our homes, and being able to fill them out at our leisure.

But that means local election departments have to send them out three weeks ahead of the actual election day. As a result, we've discarded the concept of general-election campaigns building to a climax with most voters going to the polls on the first Tuesday in November.

Thousands of us will receive mail ballots for this election beginning Wednesday, Oct. 13. If the past is a guide, a large number of us will make our choices within a few days. Others will wait until closer to the Nov. 2 deadline, especially if we're undecided on races or issues.

Regardless, the earlier time frame has made it more difficult for us at the Independent, as we try to provide our endorsements and analysis soon enough for those using mail ballots. We'd much rather have a little longer to sharpen our views, but that's not possible anymore.

This year, we've split our endorsement package into two parts. In this issue, we give you our stances on the statewide races and ballot issues. In our Oct. 14 edition, you'll find information related to decisions at the county and city levels, including state legislative races in area districts.

The rest is up to you.

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