Town Clerk April Smith said Monday — after consulting with both the Union County Election Commission and the State Election Commission — she was told since there were only six candidates running for the six seats on this year’s ballot, the town does not have to hold the planned April 13 election.
Smith said she was told state law permits cancellation of an election when the number of candidates running equals that of the number of offices on the ballot. The town’s election commission will, however, still have to meet April 15 to certify the outcome.
Smith said she consulted with her predecessor as clerk, Natalee Spencer, about whether this had happened before. She said Spencer, who served in the office for 33 years, said it hadn’t — that in the past there always were enough candidates running for office to permit the election to go forward as scheduled.
Filing for the April 13 election closed Feb. 2 with only incumbent Mayor Ernest Moore running for re-election; council members John Ray Fowler, Danny Gregory and Ann Queen and political newcomer Donna Simmons runing for the four seats on town counci; and incumbent Betty Gault running for election to the water commission.
Even with the close of filing, there was still the possibility of write-in campaigns for one or more of the offices. However, Smith said she was told by both election commisions in order to run a write-in campaign, a candidate must notify the town hall of their intention to do so within 14 days of the close of filing.
Smith said she received no notice of any planned write-in campaigns within the allotted period.
With the cancellation of the election, Smith said the town will not have to print ballots and pay poll workers.