An upcoming online candidates forum will give South Boston and Scottsburg voters a chance to learn more about the town council candidates on the ballot before casting their votes in the May 19 election. The Halifax County Chamber of Commerce is hosting the candidates’ forum set for 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Those wishing to tune in to the candidates’ forum have several options. They can watch the forum through Zoom video conferencing or live streaming on the chamber of commerce’s Facebook page, or can listen to the forum which will be broadcast live on the 95.3 WHLF radio station.

The chamber of commerce hosts candidate forums prior to every local election. Usually, the candidate forums are held in person. This time, the candidate forum is online because of the restrictions on the number of people that can gather in one place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We use the forums as an opportunity to hear directly from candidates. We feel this is especially important during this time as candidates are not able to speak with constituents as they typically would,” said chamber president Mitzi McCormick.

McCormick added, “Although we are not allowed to gather for these forums as we have in the past, we encourage citizens to participate online. The Chamber is working diligently to provide opportunities for local citizens to be informed when they vote.”

The forum will start with the South Boston candidates running in the May 19 election. The candidates are Mayor Ed Owens, who is running unopposed for mayor, and the six candidates running for three open seats on town council: Tina Wyatt-Younger, Robert “Bob” Hughes, Harriett Claiborne, Joe Chandler III, Thomas “Tommy” Elliott Jr. and Michael Byrd.

The Scottsburg Town Council forum will immediately follow. Invited candidates are James Gordon, who is running unopposed for mayor, and the six candidates running for five open seats on town council: Joe Allred III, Russell Puckett Jr., James Stoner, Connie Glass, Robert Elliott and Ronnie Myers Jr.

Nick Long, general manager of 95.3 WHLF, will be the moderator for the online forum. Each candidate will have a chance to give an opening statement, and questions posed to each candidate will follow.

Invited guest Heather Harding, Halifax County registrar/director of elections, will discuss the process of absentee voting. The last day to request an absentee voting application by mail is Tuesday.

Those wishing to view the online candidates’ forum by Zoom video conferencing must register in advance to receive the Zoom link. To register, visit www.halifaxchamber.net.