Time is rapidly winding down for persons seeking to be on the ballot for the County General Election set for August 5th of this year.
The deadline for submitting the required paperwork to the Cannon County Election Office to legally qualify to be on the ballot is April 1 at noon.
Additionally, candidates for the Office of Sheriff must also file their affidavit and supporting documents to POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) commission by March 18.
Election officials are advising candidates to not wait until the last minute to turn in their paperwork, as doing so could put them at risk of not qualifying to be on the ballot.
"After the noon deadline on April 1, we have until 5 p.m that day to go over the paperwork a candidate has submitted to make sure they have filled everything out correctly and all of the signatures on their petitions are valid," Administrator of Elections Stanley Dobson said.
"If we find any problems with a candidate's paperwork then, there will be no time for them to correct the errors or get new signatures. Therefore, we are advising candidates to submit their paperwork as soon as possible so that we can certify that the information is correct and valid," Dobson said.
Dorinda Mankin, assistant administration of elections for the county, indicated that only a few of the approximately 15 candidates who have turned in their paperwork to date have had all of the information filed correctly the first time.
There have been over 50 people pick up petitions to run for local offices. If all the people who have not turned in their paperwork waited until April 1, that would leave the election office over 30 candidates to verify that day. Plus, there is still time for people to decide to enter the races.
Once they meet all the requirements, candidates will be placed on the ballot for the August 5 election. However, should they change their mind about running, they have until noon on April 8 to withdraw.
Some candidates for county offices have already begun their campaigns, and the election office has issued a reminder of the rules pertaining to advertising.
"Any signs that you post for your campaign will have to have "Paid for by _________" on each of them," says the reminder. The rule also applies to any print, radio or television advertising.
In other election news, recent petition pickups include Roger Spry for County Court Clerk, Larry Sanders for Circuit Court Clerk and Shelby Stovall for First District Commissioner.
Also, the Election Commission is seeking early voting and election day workers. The dates of elections are Aug. 5 and Nov. 2. There will be mandatory training for all elections. If you have worked elections in the past or would like to work one now, and are at least 17 years of age, and live in Cannon County, please contact the Election Office at 563-5650 or go to the office at 301 W. Main St. between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.Listed below are the qualifying procedures for county candidates:Qualifying Petitions
Candidate may obtain a nominating petition from the county election commission office. The petition must be issued directly to the candidate. Each page of the petition must be signed by the candidate and an Election Official and may not be photocopied.
The nominating petition must be signed by at least twenty-five (25) votes who are registered in the candidates district. Each voter who signs the petitions must also supply his or her residence address as it appears on his or her voter registration record. No ditto marks or post office box addresses can be accepted. Each voter must sign his or her own name. Printed signatures are unacceptable.
Independent and Primary candidates shall qualify by filing all nominating petitions by 12:00 noon on the third Thursday in the third calendar month before an election.
Where to File
Candidate must file petition in the county in which he resides. If the elected office the candidate is seeking represents more than one county, it is the candidate's responsibility to provide certified duplicate of the petition to each county by 12 Noon on the qualifying deadline. The copies can either be hand delivered or mailed certified mail. There are no filing fees.
Appointment of Treasurer Form
Upon becoming a candidate, a political treasurer must be appointed. No funds may be received or expended until a treasurer has been appointed. A candidate may appoint himself or herself to this position. A new form must be filed if the treasurer is changed. All signatures on this form must be notarized. This form must be filed with the county election commission office.
Statement of Interest
Candidates are required to file this form no later than thirty (30) days following the qualifying deadline. No dollar amounts need to be listed. If a candidate is running for the same office he or she holds and filed an annual statement of interest in JANUARY of the same year as the election, then the candidate is not required to file another statement.