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News Macon Board of Elections preparing for 2012

Paul Higdon and Rick Snyder to challenge Kuppers.

Anyone who wants to make a difference and be directly involved with public policy at the local or state level has until next Wednesday, Feb. 29, to officially put their names in the hat to run for office or a particular seat in government. The filing period began on Monday, Feb. 13, and so far, several incumbents and candidates in Macon County have formally filed to run, including chairman of the board of commissioners, Kevin Corbin, as well as commissioners Bob Kuppers and Jimmy Tate.

Three district seats for the board of commissioners will be decided on this November. District one of Highlands, one seat in district two, and district three within Macon County will be challenged this spring and fall.

Republican Jimmy Tate currently holds the district one seat in Highlands after being appointed by the GOP executive committee last December. Because of the unexpired term following former chairman Brian McClellan’s resignation, Tate’s seat will be on the ballot. Chairman of the board, Kevin Corbin, who resides in district two, will be up for election in 2012 as well. Corbin, a Republican, was appointed to the board following Jim Davis’ victory in the 2010 state legislative race for NC Senate district 50. Commissioner Bob Kuppers, a Democrat, occupies the district three seat, and he will be up for re-election following his 2008 victory.

Paul Higdon joined the race for the district three seat as a Republican challenger to Bob Kuppers, and Ricky Snyder will take on Kuppers in the Democratic primary. The filing fee to run for county commission is $97.00.

The same number of seats will be up for grabs on the Board of Education. The filing fee is only $5. Also, one open seat on the county’s soil and water conservation board will be decided this fall. The filing fee for the latter is $5.

“Candidates have to meet certain qualifications to be able to run, but the list is short,” said Kim Bishop, Director of Macon County’s Board of Elections. “They must be registered to vote and they have to live in their given district within the county. If someone wants to run on the unaffiliated ticket, they must get four percent of signatures from registered voters,” she said.

The biggest misconception about the primary season in North Carolina pertains to the state’s closed primary status. “That’s the biggest question we get asked,” said Bishop. If you are a registered Democrat, you can only vote on the Democratic ballot in the primary. For example, a Democratic Maconian will not get the opportunity to vote for commissioners Jimmy Tate and Kevin Corbin in the primary. The two commissioners are Republicans. Unaffiliated voters have the option to vote on either the Democratic or Republican ballot. They cannot vote on both.

If a person wants to register to vote, they can do so by filling out a registration form at the Macon County Board of Elections, or by filling out the form on the State Board of Elections website. If you would like to change your registered party affiliation, you can do so at the Macon County Board of Elections office, located at the county’s courthouse. The voter registration deadline for the primary election is April 13, and one stop early voting will kickoff on April 19. The primary election is set for May 8.

One notable change this year deals with voters in the North Franklin precinct. Instead of voting at Southwestern Community College’s facility at the Macon County Courthouse, citizens of North Franklin will cast their votes at town hall. This change applies to all elections.

The Macon County Board of Elections has information about the 2012 elections, which includes facts that should help out voters looking to cast their ballots in the May primary and the November general election. For more information about this voting season, please contact the Macon County Board of Elections at 828.349.2034 or visit their web page at http://www.maconnc.org/. A list of all the candidate filings is posted online.


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