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WHQR will host and broadcast four candidate forums as part of the 2012 Election Season in the MC Erny Gallery, 254 N. Front Street, #300.Each forum will feature two local journalists asking prepared questions during the first half of the event. The second portion will be dedicated to questions from voters. A live studio audience will be invited to ask questions during this segment. We'll also use questions sent in from listeners.If you have a question for the candidates, please email us (newsdirector@whqr.org) or submit via Twitter with the #whqrforums hash tag and tell us which slate of candidates you'd like to address. We reserve the right to edit the questions for clarity, brevity, and objectivity. Each question must be addressed to all candidates in a particular race. If you can't attend the live event, Tweet along while you tune in or listen or watch the webcast online at 7 PM each night to hear the candidates! (WWAY will also broadcast the forums live on Time Warner Cable. RTV is channel 106, on ATMC, channel 903, on Charter Cable, channel 145 and over-the-air at 3.2.)Tuesday, Oct. 2, 7 PM- New Hanover County CommissionersJonathan Barfield (Current Vice Chairman)Beth DawsonRobert MurrayDr. Derrick HickeyWoody WhiteRob Zapple Thursday, Oct. 4, 7 PM- NC House District 18Representative Susi Hamilton (D)Louis Harmati (R) Monday, Oct. 8, 7 PM - NC Senate District 9Senator Thom Goolsby (R)Deb Butler (D) Thursday, Oct. 18, 7 PM - NC House District 19 & NC House District 20 NC House District 19Ted Davis, Jr. (Current NHC Commission Chair)Emilie Swearingen (Current Kure Beach Councilwoman)NC House District 20Rick Catlin (Current NHC Commissioner) (R)Tom Gale (D)

No formal policy on polling place signs

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During the May 8 primary elections, some voters arriving at Devon Park Methodist Church questioned the message on the church’s sign that said: “A TRUE MARRIAGE IS MALE AND FEMALE AND GOD.”

Amanda Greene of Wilmington Faith and Values checks in with the New Hanover County elections board to see if it adopted a good faith agreement for rented polling place locations -- including churches.

Marvin McFadyen, New Hanover board of elections director, says no formal policy was adopted. 

At its June meeting, the board decided the church’s sign was legally outside the electioneering buffer zone and it discussed adopting a good faith agreement without impeding the free speech rights of polling places.   Since then, McFadyen says he’s been assured the situation will not be repeated but if a similar event happens again, a good faith agreement could be added to contracts with rented polling places.

By the numbers, New Hanover has the highest percentage of worship spaces serving as polling places in the tri-county area.  Out of 43 polling places, 12 are churches. In Pender County, 2 out of 20 polling spots are churches.  And in Brunswick, out of 23 polling places, one is a church.