02/08/04 — Filing period may be delayed

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Filing period may be delayed

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on February 8, 2004 2:03 AM

Robins are said to be the first sign of spring. People interested in another season -- Election Season -- will have their eyes on Raleigh Monday.

The State Board of Elections will meet at 10 a.m. to decide whether to delay the filing period. The problem is that new legislative districts have not yet gained federal approval for use in this year's elections.

The Wayne County Board of Elections may not know until 11 a.m. whether to begin the filing period that has been scheduled to open at noon.

"We're set up and ready to go," Elections Director Gary Sims said. "We just need to know what to do and when to do it."

If the state cannot proceed with legislative races, the state board is expected to order both the filing period, which was to be Feb. 9-27, and the May 4 primary elections to be postponed.

But the state board also has the authority to allow filings for county offices and for other state offices to go ahead Monday.

The county office is trying to be ready for any possibility, Sims said. "We've got nothing but time before Monday to talk about what could happen and how we'll react."

Whenever the filing period begins, the county elections office will be fielding candidates for several offices that affect Wayne County.

All seven county commissioners' seats are on the ballot this fall. That includes six seats elected by districts and one at-large seat chosen countywide. It costs $80 to file.

Maps of the new county districts, which are also used for the school board, can be viewed on the Board of Elections' Web site; go to www.waynegov.com and choose "Board of Elections" under departments.

Three Board of Education seats -- Districts 2 and 3 and the countywide at-large seat -- also expire this year. The filing fee is $99.

The county will also choose its register of deeds next fall. The fee is $460.

One seat on the county Soil & Water Conservation District's Board of Supervisors will also be open. The fee is $5. The seat is held by Ben Rollins.

Federal offices on this year's ballots include president and vice president; the U.S. Senate office now held by presidential candidate John Edwards; and the 1st and 3rd districts in the U.S. House.

Voters will also be choosing a governor, lieutenant governor, superintendent of public instruction, attorney general, commissioner of labor, secretary of state, commissioner of insurance, secretary of state, state auditor, commissioner of agriculture, state treasurer, associate justice in the N.C. Supreme Court and three judges for the N.C. Court of Appeals.

Wayne County voters will also help select a District Court judge in Judicial District 8.

Every seat in the N.C. House and Senate expires this year, but exactly which districts include Wayne County will not be determined until a set of maps is cleared to be used.

Anyone interested in local election information can contact the Wayne County Board of Elections at 731-1411. Information about filing for state and national office is available at the State Board of Elections at 919-733-7173.