Though elections might still seem to be a distant thought since they don’t start until Aug. 7, Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren said things could start to pick up in the next few months, with Jan. 3 set as the first day to pick up petitions to run.
By picking up a petition, this means a candidate is expressing their intent to run for office, according to Warren.
Warren said that just because a candidate picks up a petition doesn’t necessarily mean they’re on the ballot.
“They’ve next got to get 25 signatures of registered voters in their district that they’re running and turn that in by the qualifying deadline April 3 at noon,” Warren said.
Warren said that once the petition is turned in, the Election Commission would then have to review it and certify them, which would make their candidacy official.
“Until they bring that back in, nothing is official,” Warren said.
So far, some candidates have filed financial disclosures called Appointment of Treasurer forms.
“These mean they are actively soliciting funds for the 2014 elections,” Warren said. “A candidate or anyone thinking of running can file one and start collecting money for their campaign even before the official first day to pick up petitions to run.”
However, Warren said judicial candidates differ and can’t solicit funds until Nov. 7.
Warren said several have filed Appointment of Treasurer forms and “absolutely more” candidates would begin filing them as elections grow closer.
Warren said lately things have been pretty standard and the commission usually sees, on average, 350 new voter registrations each month. Though, Warren said as it gets closer to election time that number will continue to increase.
This year Warren said the Election Commission meets once a month for 12 times total, but next year he said they would probably have at least 20 meetings because it’s an election year.
“Next year there will be a lot going on in relation to elections. We’ll have a lot of details to cover and work out and legal things to do in preparation for the elections,” Warren said. “Things will really pick up and everything will get interesting.”
Warren said something the public can do to prepare for the impending elections is for voters to make sure their address is up-to-date and correct and change their voter registration to be updated with any recent address changes.
“It’s very important to have the right address on their registration, it’ll save a lot of time and make sure their vote counts,” Warren said.
Warren said this can be done online, at the Department of Safety or at the Election Commission office and people can update their information up until five days before elections. The deadline to register to vote is 30 days prior to elections.
“Where you live determines who you vote for and where you vote so it’s important to vote in the proper place and it also will save time at the polls,” Warren said. “It’s a lot easier to update these things now so people can get it done and get it done right.”
Warren also said, for those contemplating running for election, the candidate guide, under the “candidate” tab on the Election Commission website, has all of the information one could need.
“Anyone thinking about running can go there and read all the information there, and they can also be sure to call the commission and ask questions if they need to,” Warren said.
For more information, visit the Wilson County Election Commission website at wilsonelections.com or call 615-444-0216.