BASTROP -- Early voting is underway.
The election is less than two weeks away, on October 19th.
Candidates for the 5th Congressional District were at another forum in Bastrop Monday night, where voters were looking for answers to their concerns.
"Our biggest problem right now is with our deficit," Bastrop Resident Jim Conley said. "We've got too many entitlement programs. I'm all for entitlement for people that need the program, but we have too many entitlements now."
College students also questioned the candidates Tuesday night at a congressional forum on the ULM campus.
"I don't want them to forget about the little people, the little people in Monroe," ULM Junior Jessica Simms said. "I'm more focused on the little picture than the big picture right now."
"The issue on everybody's mind today is the government shutdown, the budget crisis, so I think that's definitely going to have to be something that the candidates address," Vice President of the ULM College Republicans, Jonathan Cobb, said.
Some political experts said the candidates are fighting not just a battle for votes, but a battle for recognition.
"In a race like this, getting your name out there is the first thing you have to do before you can start persuading people with where you stand on political issues," ULM Associate Professor of Political Science, Dr. John Sutherlin, said.
Experts said what makes this race unique and sparking headlines outside our area is actually the government shutdown, with the shutting down of the Federal Election Commission.
"Because of the government shutdown, we don't have all the numbers, so it's impossible to know with absolute certainty what money has been spent, what money has been in there, where the money has been allocated," said Sutherlin.
Experts said this race is hurtling toward a run-off election and some voters said they know the kind of candidate they want.
"A good Christian person. A good family man because if you're a good family man, you've got the values of this district in mind," Conley said.
"A person with integrity," said Cobb. "A person that's going to stick with his convictions regardless of political expediency."
"I'm really looking for someone who has a lot of charisma, somebody who's confident in their ideas who can take these questions that the students have for them and really tackle them and be strong with their ideas," Simms said.
Before it's over, what could ultimately define this race is low voter turnout.
"We're talking about maybe 25-30% voter turnout," Sutherlin said. "It's unfortunate because there's a great deal of apathy."
"We have a lot of people that's not even registered," said Conley. "That's sad when we send a person to Washington to represent us that only 15% of the people vote for."
For a complete list of the candidates running for the Fifth Congressional District seat, click here.