08/07/11 — Write-ins to decide some municipal elections

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Write-ins to decide some municipal elections

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 7, 2011 12:24 AM

Write-in votes, just as they have for years, will decide who will fill the three seats on the Eureka Town board up for election this November. No one filed for any of the soon-to-be vacant slots.

But Eureka isn't only town that might have to turn to a write-in candidate to fill a seat. In Seven Springs, Bobby Mozingo is the only person filed for one of the three board seats on the ballot. And Alan Cash is the only candidate for mayor in Seven Springs.

While candidate filings have been scarce in Eureka, the number of write-in candidates on Election Days past has not. There were eight write-ins for mayor and 13 for two board seats in 2005 and in 2007 there were three for mayor and 13 for the board.

Write-ins also decided Eureka's 2009 election.

In municipal nonpartisan elections, the law gives voters the right to simply write in a person's name, said Vickie Reed, the director of the Wayne County Board of Elections.

In cases involving partisan races, state law provides for how a person can get his name on the ballot and campaign as a write-in candidate, she said. However, that does not apply to Eureka and Seven Springs.

The ballots for both Eureka and Seven Springs will have spaces where names may be written in, she said.

With less than 200 registered voters, it is not unusual for small towns like Eureka and Seven Springs to have elections decided by write-ins, she said. In most cases there is no formal campaigning, people just spread a name by talking or saying they are interested in serving, she said.

The Board of Elections verifies the person's eligibility to serve, such as assuring the person lives in the district they were elected to represent.

Even though their slates are full, most of the other elections involve three people seeking two seats (as in the Fork Sanitary District) or four seeking three (Walnut Creek.)

One-stop voting for the Nov. 8 election will begin Oct. 20 at the Wayne County Board of Elections office, 209 S. William St.

The hours will be: Oct. 20 and 21, Oct. 24 to 28, Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Nov. 5 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Voter registration for the Nov. 8 election will close at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14.

Polls will be open Nov. 8 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.