After months of campaigning over the summer, candidates are in the final stretch to capture votes in the upcoming election.

Just as April showers bring May flowers, October brings fall colors — and — lots of campaign signs scattered throughout the county.

It's always interesting to see the different designs and colors of signs. It takes a lot of work to get signs distributed and put in strategic places to capture attention — and hopefully — votes.

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As the campaigns are coming to a close, many are calling for the end to negative campaigns and comments. Most of the nasty comments are from supporters — not the candidates themselves.

Crawford County sheriff's race seems to be dominating the attention of a number of voters. One thing is certain; whoever wins will have experience working in the sheriff's office.

The question now is whether the winner will employ his opponent in the office or whether the opponent would want to work for the winner.

The other key thing now is whether all the hurts can be healed within the two parties.

One thing is certain: I don't recall a sheriff's race in recent times this competitive.

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The county election office reports the number of absentee ballots is not exceptionally high this year.

Gov. Tom Wolf is supporting plans to allow requests for absentee ballots to be made online.

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Both parties at the statewide level are gearing up for next year as candidates are lining up for possible race for state auditor general to succeed Eugene DePasquale, who by law can't seek a third term.

Past auditor generals have gone on to be U.S. senators, lieutenant governor and state treasurer. Will DePasquale run for another statewide seat?

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Retired Magisterial District Judge William Chisholm corrected me on a statement made in my last column. District judges do not run on retention vote, but they must be on the ballot.

I incorrectly stated they can run without gathering nominating signature. That's not true.

Although there was a campaign to do that, it failed.

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Another question on the ballot concerns making victim rights a constitutional right. As I read the question, I believe many of the changes are in place on a voluntary basis — not just a mandated constitutional amendment.

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We extend our sympathy this week to Tim Kelly, director of the county's information technology office, whose wife died last week. I never met her but was told what a great woman she was and that she was very supportive of Tim.

Jane Smith is a retired Meadville Tribune reporter who specialized in covering government and politics.

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