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Death reopens filing period

Published 10:35pm Saturday, August 17, 2013

The death of Washington Park Commissioner Don L. Wilkinson Sr. last week has caused the filing period for seats on the town’s five-member Board of Commissioners to reopen.
Under state election law, the reopening of the filing period must occur if the number of candidates falls below the number of seats open for election, according to Kellie Harris Hopkins, Beaufort County’s elections director. In this case, the number of remaining candidates is four, with five seats on the board open for election.
“I can’t recall this happening in the 15 years I’ve been director,” Hopkins said Friday afternoon. “Because the number of candidates has dropped below the number of seats available, then we had to reopen it.”
The filing period reopens at 8 a.m. Monday and closes at 5 p.m. Friday. The reopening does not include other municipal races in the county.
The law, in part, reads: “(b) If at the time the filing period closes only two persons have filed notice of candidacy for election to a single office or only as many persons have filed notices of candidacy for group offices as there are offices to be filled, and thereafter one of the candidates dies before the election and before the ballots are printed, the board of elections shall, upon notification of the death, immediately reopen the filing period for an additional five days during which time additional candidates shall be permitted to file for election.”
The Board of Elections office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. It is located at Suite 104, 1308 Highland Drive, Washington.
For more information about the reopening of the filing period, call 252-946-2321 during office hours.

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