Four local races in particular could have a tremendous impact on the future of the county.
Democratic Congressman Larry Kissell is running for re-election to represent the 8th District in the U.S. Congress. Kissell is serving his first term after an unsuccessful bid in 2006 against the previous officeholder, Robin Hayes, which was decided by a razor thin margin.
He reclaimed the seat for Democrats after Hayes had held it for 10 years. Kissell was criticized by some local party members after he refused to vote for healthcare reform, which he claimed would make cuts in Medicare.
Before taking office, he was a teacher and a production manager in a hosiery factory.
His opponent is former WSOC sportscaster Harold Johnson. A former Marine, Johnson won a tough primary runoff against businessman Tim D'Annunzio for his party's nomination.
Johnson spoke out in March at a local party meeting, criticizing President Barack Obama's healthcare reform efforts. He said he believed Obama should have focused on creating jobs. He emphasized his support for energy jobs, particularly nuclear energy.
"Nuclear is cheap, good and clean," he said.
On the state level, Democratic Senator William Purcell is running for re-election in the General Assembly. He is a retired pediatrician and resident of Laurinburg. In addition to Anson, he represents Richmond, Scotland and Stanly counties. He is seeking a seventh term in office.
His most famous recent accomplishment might be the bill he introduced to the Senate, which banned smoking in bars and restaurants.
"The evidence is overwhelming that the dangers of secondhand smoke causes heart attacks, heart disease, cancer and asthma attacks," he said in May 2009. "The surgeon general has said there is no safe level of secondhand smoke."
He believed the ban was first and foremost a health issue. He originally wanted to make all workplaces in the state smoke-free, but there was not enough support.
He will face Stanly County Republican activist Jason Phibbs. According to his campaign's Web page, he lives in Albemarle and has worked for a mutual fund company in Charlotte for the last 10 years.
Phibbs is also the chair of Stanly County's chapter of NC4Marriage, which advocates that marriage should only be allowed between one man and one woman. Toward that end, they have worked to amend the N.C. Constitution.
He spoke to Anson Republicans in August 2009 about how he succeeded in lobbying for a resolution of support for this goal from the Stanly County Commission.
He helped spearhead a similar effort in Anson but the Commission refused to endorse the resolution.
Democratic Representative Pryor Gibson will run for another term in the General Assembly. He represents Anson and Union counties. Gibson has worked as a general contractor and insurance broker.
His opponent will be John Barker, former Union County Republican Chairman. He is a former candidate for the statehouse.
Sheriff Tommy Allen, a Democrat, will seek a seventh term. He has touted recent accomplishments like the creation of the Law Enforcement Citizens Academy.
Allen has pushed the County Commission for more space for jail inmates. He said the jail is overcrowded. He wants the Commission to consider a jail study, which would determine the feasibility of constructing a new jail or adding to the existing facility.
His opponent is Republican Rickey Wallace, who works in the manufactured home business. Wallace advocates bringing the community back to policing.
He said in May that he would like to implement a volunteer school guard program, and in an interview earlier this month, said that he would like to see community officers back in the county's outlying towns.
He also hopes to increase the level of communication between the Sheriff's Office and the county's citizens.
One-stop voting began Thursday, Oct. 14, and will run from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily until Friday, Oct. 29. The final day of one-stop voting will be from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30.
The general election is Nov. 2. The polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
(Editor Abby Cavenaugh contributed to this report.)