Filing for municipal elections begins Friday
Most voters to mark their ballots Nov. 11
By MIKE VOSS
Filing for municipal elections begins at noon July 6 and ends at noon July 20 in Beaufort, Martin and Washington counties.
Hyde County has no municipal elections because the county has no municipalities.
Election Day in Beaufort, Martin and Washington counties is Nov. 6.
In Beaufort, Martin and Washington counties, Oct. 12 is the deadline to register to vote in the general elections. In those counties, one-stop voting begins Oct. 18 and concludes at 1 p.m. Nov. 3. Absentee voting by mail begins Oct. 5.
Kellie Harris Hopkins, elections director for Beaufort County, expects elections in five of the county’s seven municipalities to draw light to moderate interest. But in the two remaining municipalities, she anticipates high interest from voters and potential candidates.
Only Beaufort County voters who live within the one of the county’s seven municipalities — Aurora, Bath, Belhaven, Chocowinity, Pantego, Washington and Washington Park — will be able to vote. Voters who live in one of the 11 precincts not in one of those municipalities are not eligible to vote in those elections.
Beaufort County has 21 precincts. Washington has four precincts. The remaining six municipalities each have just one precinct.
Hopkins said Bath is changing the way it elects town commissioners. In previous years, all commissioners were elected to two-year terms.
This year, Bath voters will elect two commissioners who will serve two-year terms and two commissioners will serve four-year terms. When the two-year terms of commissioners elected this year are up, those terms on the Bath Board of Commissioners become four-year terms. That will result in commissioners serving staggered terms.
The Beaufort County Board of Elections’ office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.
Faye Martin, elections director in Martin County, hopes there will be plenty of candidates to file this month. In recent years, some municipalities in the county have seen several write-in candidates. Some of them have been elected.
Eight of Martin County’s nine municipalities will have elections this year. Those municipalities are Williamston, Jamesville, Oak City, Parmele, Robersonville, Hassell, Everetts and Hamilton. Voters in Parmele, Robersonville and Williamston go to the polls every four years to elect their local representatives. Voters in Jamesville, Oak City, Everetts, Hassell and Hamilton go to the polls every two years to elect their local commissioners or council members.
Bear Grass will not have an election this year. Two years ago, that town’s elected officials began serving four-year terms instead of two-year terms, according to Martin.
The Martin County Board of Elections’ office is open from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Those hours of operation change this Friday because of the opening of the filing period.
Dora Bell, who has been the elections director in Washington County since June of 2006, is looking forward to the municipal elections for Plymouth, Creswell and Roper. She’s directed other types of elections, but she doesn’t know what to expect with municipal elections.
The Washington County Board of Elections’ office is open from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Because the filing period begins at noon, the elections office will be open from noon until 5 p.m. this Friday.
Roper voters follow a different election schedule than voters in Plymouth or Creswell.
Election Day in Roper is Oct. 9. A run-off election, if needed, would be held Nov. 6.
People must be registered by Sept. 14 to vote in the Oct. 9 election. Absentee voting by mail begins Sept. 7 and concludes at 1 p.m. Oct. 6.
One-stop, no-excuse voting begins Sept. 20 and ends at 1 p.m. the last Saturday before the election.
Several rules apply to primaries or elections, no matter when conducted.
The last day to request an absentee ballot is one week before any primary or election. The request must be received by a county’s board of elections by 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before the primary or election. Absentee ballots must be returned to a county’s board of elections by 5 p.m. on the day before a primary or election. Absentee ballots must be delivered by mail, commercial courier service or in person.
Boards of elections canvass ballots seven days after a primary or election.