Candidates Can Begin Picking Up Qualifying Petitions Jan. 4

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Almost every public office in Cannon County Government will be up for election next year, and persons who are interested in running can begin picking up qualifying petitions in less than a month.

Among the positions voters will elect someone to fill in the 2010 county election on Aug. 5 are three of the five seats on the Cannon County Board of Education, county executive, all 10 county commission seats, county trustee, circuit court clerk, sheriff, register of deeds, chancery court clerk and five constable positions.

Cannon County Administrator of Elections Stan Dobson said at Monday's monthly meeting of the county Election Commission that both local political parties, Democrats and Republicans, have sent him notification that they are not planning primary elections next year. The primary election would have been held in May.

An election for state and national offices will also be held next year, on Nov. 2. Among the offices to be voted on in that election will be governor, the congressional seat currently held by Bart Gordon, the U.S. Senate seat now being held by Lamar Alexander, the state senate seat being vacated by Mae Beavers, and the state house seat currently occupied by Stratton Bone.

If there are more than one candidate running from each party in the state and national election, the primary will be held during the Aug. 5 election.

Dobson said he is anticipating the ballot for the Aug. 5 election will be five sheets long.

"We are looking for a large number of people to come in and file for the Aug. 5 election," Dobson said.

His office will open at 8 a.m. in Jan. 4 to begin handing out qualifying petitions. A prospective candidate must return their petition by noon on April 1 with the signatures of at least 25 registered voters.

Dobson said he expects there will be at least 100 persons pick up qualifying petitions for next year's countywide election.

Also at Monday's meeting, Dobson informed commission members that 32 people had signed up so far to serve as poll workers. That is less than half of the 80 needed. Persons interested in serving can sign up by contacting the Election Office at 563-5650. Poll workers must be 17 years of age or older. They will be required to attend three training sessions.

Dobson said his office is also working diligently to remove all felons and deceased persons from the county's eligible voter list.

Cannon County currently has approximately 7,900 persons eligible to vote. Dobson said he is anticipating a 60 to 65 percent turnout for next year's elections.
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