Those considering seeking municipal office in the county in November may want to speed up their thought process.
The filing period for 2011 municipal elections begins next Friday at noon.
“The filing period begins July 1 at noon, and ends on July 15 on noon,” County Elections Director Connie Kelly said Wednesday. “However, our office will be closed for a holiday on July 4.”
On the 2011 slate are the mayoral races for Rockingham, Hamlet, Ellerbe, Dobbins Heights, Hoffman and Norman, as well as council seats for each city or town.
Three council seats will be up for grabs in Rockingham, Hamlet and Norman, while two seats will be decided in Ellerbe and Dobbins Heights and the voters will decide five seats in Hoffman.
In 2009, mayoral and council races in both Rockingham and Hamlet drove a strong voter turnout, and new council members were elected in both of the county’s largest cities though both incumbent mayors were re-elected.
The county did see one new mayor elected, in Ellerbe’s Olivia Webb.
“We hope to see the same level of interest this year as we had in 2009 with all those contested races,” County Elections Board member Carlton Hawkins said.
There are certain requirements one must meet to seek municipal office.
“A qualified candidate must be a registered voter in the municipality they are running in, and they must reside within the city limits,” Kelly explained.
Most elections will be held on Nov. 8. One-stop voting will begin on Oct. 20 and end on Nov. 5.
Dobbins Heights’ election will be held on Oct. 11.
In other election news:
- The county board is set to consider a request by the Town of Hoffman to allow the voters to take up whether to allow on- and off-premises sales of unfortified wine in the November election during their June meeting today at 4 p.m. The board will meet at the County Elections Office on Hancock Street in Rockingham, and the proceedings are open to the public.
- Next month, the board is expected to consider whether to grant a request to the Town of Dobbins Heights to locate a polling station there, instead of asking residents to vote in Hamlet. This was previously done, as recently as 2007.
— Staff Writer Philip D. Brown can be reached at (910) 997-3111 ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.