07/22/07 — Municipal elections filing closed

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Municipal elections filing closed

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on July 22, 2007 2:01 AM

When the Wayne County Board of Elections office opened Friday morning, anyone still interested in running in one of the seven municipal or four sanitary district elections in November had four hours to get their names on the ballots.

By noon, when filing ended, nine more people had tossed their hats into the ring.

"The way things were going, I really didn't expect that many people," county elections director Gary Sims said. "The last day's always busy, but we were busier than I expected."

Overall, 68 people braved the enormous amounts of paperwork and filed for 48 seats as Goldsboro, Mount Olive, Eureka, Fremont, Pikeville, Seven Springs, Village of Walnut Creek and the Fork Township, North-western, Southern, and Southwestern Sanitary Dis-tricts all will hold elections.

"We're excited about the turnout," Sims said. "Some people were overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork -- there's more than what most people file for taxes -- but we helped them through it.

"I'd say the number of candidates who filed is about the number we expected."

Goldsboro will have two primary elections on Oct. 9 -- one for its mayor's seat and the other for District 3. Both races have three candidates. The top two will move on to the Nov. 6 general election.

In Eureka, on the other hand, nobody filed, despite three openings on its town board. Anyone elected to fill those slots will have to be handwritten onto the ballot.

"That's not a problem," Sims said. "It was the same way the last election.

"In fact, I think the citizens there are accustomed to doing it that way."

The only other race to not have at least as many candidates as seats was the Southern Wayne Sanitary District. But Sims explained that because all the elections are non-partisan, people will have the option to write in their choices.

Now, though, as the candidates start campaigning, the real work of training precinct workers and preparing ballots is just beginning for his office.

And with the late primary this year, Sims added, they have an even tougher few months ahead.

"It's like conducting two elections at once," he said. "It gives us a really tight window, but we're used to it. There's just no time for taking your time.

"We're ready to go, though. I just hope everybody comes out to vote. You put on the big show and do the work and try to make everybody aware they need to come out and vote."

Voter registration for both the primaries and the general election ends 25 days prior, though there is legislation pending that would allow people to register to vote and actually vote on the same day during the early one-stop period.