A sure sign of election season: The Franklin County Consortium for Good Government's "Meet the Candidates" forums are about to start.

A sure sign of election season: The Franklin County Consortium for Good Government's "Meet the Candidates" forums are about to start.

The first is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Northland Performing Arts Center, 4411 Tamarack Blvd. A reception begins at 6:30 p.m. with the program scheduled to get under way at 7.

It will be the first of eight forums put on the by consortium. The series is starting next week because of early in-person voting and the growing number of people who cast absentee ballots, Dave Paul, a member of the consortium, said last week.

"Early voting and so forth has really kind of changed the whole idea of these candidate forums," Paul said.

"I don't think it has made them irrelevant by any means," he said. "It seems to be getting earlier and earlier that we have to get this information out to the voters."

While the candidates or issues scheduled to be addressed at any of the gatherings are by invitation, Paul said the participation level in the events is generally pretty good.

"We've really done very well," he said.

"I think we have good reason to be optimistic about this. I can't recall we've had a race where none of the candidates show up.

"I think the voters will have the opportunity to hear at least one of the candidates and, more likely than not, from all of them."

Paul also pointed out that minor-party candidates are given a "level playing field" at the consortium's forums.

The current plan for candidates and issues is subject to change. Paul recommended people check for updates at franklincountyconsortium.com/.

All sessions will start with receptions at 6:30 and programs at 7, unless otherwise noted.

The schedule is:

Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Northland Performing Arts Center, 4411 Tamarack Blvd., sponsored by Northland Community Council and the Northland Performing Arts Center:

* Franklin County Commissioner: Paula Brooks (Democrat) and James M. Pfaff (Republican).

* U.S. House of Representatives 3rd District: Joyce Beatty (D), Jeffrey E. Brown (write-in), Bob Fitrakis (Green Party), Richard Ehrbar (Libertarian) and Chris Long (R).

* Ohio House 22nd District: John Patrick Carney (D) and Andy Hall (R).

* Franklin County Sheriff: Zach Scott (D) and Michael K. Herrell (R).

* Franklin County Recorder: Terry J. Brown (D) and Daphne Hawk (R).

* Ohio House 25th District: Kevin L. Boyce (D) and Seth B. Golding (R).

Wednesday, Oct. 3, at All Saints Academy, 2855 E Livingston Ave., sponsored by All Saints Academy, Catholic Diocese of Columbus Office for Social Concerns and Black Catholic Ministries of Columbus:

* Judge of the Court of Common Pleas: Kim Brown and Valoria Hoover.

* Franklin County Sheriff: Zach Scott (D) and Michael K. Herrell (R).

* Franklin County Recorder: Terry J. Brown (D) and Daphne Hawk (R).

* Franklin County Treasurer: Edward Leonard (D) and Julie Hubler (R).

* U.S. House of Representatives 3rd District: Joyce Beatty (D), Jeffrey E. Brown (write-in), Bob Fitrakis (Green Party), Richard Ehrbar (Libertarian) and Chris Long (R).

* Ohio House 18th District: Michael Stinziano (D) and Bill Colgan (R).

* Ohio House 26th District: Tracy M. Heard (D) and Joseph A. Healy (R).

Wednesday, Oct. 10, at Peace Lutheran Church, 455 Clark State Road, Gahanna, sponsored by Peace Lutheran Church:

* U.S. House of Representatives 3rd District: Joyce Beatty (D), Jeffrey E. Brown (write-in), Bob Fitrakis (Green Party), Richard Ehrbar (Libertarian) and Chris Long (R).

* Ohio House 19th District: Ryan P. Jolley (D) and Anne Gonzales (R).

* Ohio House 20th District: Heather Bishoff (D) and Nathan Burd (R).

* Franklin County Commissioner: Paula Brooks (D) and James M. Pfaff (R).

* Franklin County Sheriff: Zach Scott (D) and Michael K. Herrell (R).

* Franklin County Treasurer: Edward Leonard (D) and Julie Hubler (R).

* U.S. House 12th District: Jim Reese (D) and Pat Tiberi (R).

* New Albany-Plain Local School District proposed bond issue and tax levy.

Thursday, Oct. 11, at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 93 W. Weisheimer Road, sponsored by First Unitarian Universalist Church and the Council for Public Deliberation:

* State Issue 1: Constitutional convention.

* State Issue 2: Redistricting amendment.

* Franklin County senior options levy.

* Franklin County Office on Aging, proposed tax levy replacement and increase.

* Ohio House 24th District: Maureen L. Reedy (D) and Stephanie Kunze (R).

* Franklin County Sheriff: Zach Scott (D) and Michael K. Herrell (R).

Monday, Oct. 15, at LifeCare Alliance, 670 Harmon Ave., sponsored by the Mid-Ohio District Nurses Association and the Council for Public Deliberation, with a reception at 12:30 p.m., program at 1 p.m.:

* State Issue 1: Constitutional convention.

* State Issue 2: Redistricting amendment.

* Franklin County senior options levy.

* Franklin County Office on Aging, proposed tax levy replacement and increase.

* Ohio House 17th District: Mike Curtin (D) and Nicholas A. Szabo (R).

* Franklin County Commissioner: Paula Brooks (D) and James M. Pfaff (R).

Tuesday, Oct. 16, Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church, 1636 Graham Road, sponsored by Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church and Temple Israel:

* Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations: Chris Geer and Terri Jamison.

* U.S. House of Representatives 3rd District: Joyce Beatty (D), Jeffrey E. Brown (write-in), Bob Fitrakis (Green Party), Richard Ehrbar (Libertarian) and Chris Long (R).

* Ohio House 20th District: Heather Bishoff (D) and Nathan Burd (R).

* Franklin County Sheriff: Zach Scott (D) and Michael K. Herrell (R).

* Franklin County Recorder: Terry J. Brown (D) and Daphne Hawk (R).

* Franklin County Treasurer: Edward Leonard (D) and Julie Hubler (R).

Wednesday, Oct. 17, at Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3500 Main St., Hilliard, sponsored by Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church:

* Ohio House 23rd District: Traci Johnson (D) and Cheryl L. Grossman (R).

* Ohio House 24th District: Maureen L. Reedy (D) and Stephanie Kunze (R).

* U.S. House 15th District: Pat Lang (D) and Steve Stivers (R).

* Judge of the Court of Common Pleas: Kim Brown and Valoria Hoover.

* Franklin County Sheriff: Zach Scott (D) and Michael K. Herrell (R).

* Franklin County Recorder: Terry J. Brown (D) and Daphne Hawk (R).

* Franklin County Treasurer: Edward Leonard (D) and Julie Hubler (R).

Tuesday, Oct. 23, at the McConnell Arts Center, 777 Evening St., Worthington, sponsored by ORT America, Columbus Chapter, and the American Association of University Women:

* Franklin County Sheriff: Zach Scott (D) and Michael K. Herrell (R).

*Ohio House 21st District: Donna O'Connor (D) and Mike Duffey (R).

* Franklin County Treasurer: Edward Leonard (D) and Julie Hubler (R).

* Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations: Chris Geer and Terri Jamison.

* Franklin County Recorder: Terry J. Brown (D) and Daphne Hawk (R).

* U.S. House 12th District: Jim Reese (D) and Pat Tiberi (R).

* Worthington school levy.

* Worthington schools bond issue.