Persons interested in running for a seat on the Union County Board of School Trustees or the board of one of three fire districts have until noon Aug. 15 to file to do so with the Union County Voter Registrar’s Office.
The District 1, 2, 6, and 7 seats on the Union County Board of School Trustees will be on the ballot in the Nov. 6 general election. The seats are currently held by trustees BJ McMorris (District 1), Jantzen Childers (District 2), Kakie White (District 6) and Manning Jeter (District 7).
Also on the ballot will be three seats on the Santuc Fire District Board of Trustees, three seats on the Monarch Fire District Board of Trustees, and two seats on the Jonesville Fire District Board of Trustees.
While there are four school board seats and a total of eight fire board seats on the ballot, Union County Election Commission Chairman Keith Vanderford said that as of Wednesday morning only two candidates had filed to run. Vandeford said McMorris and Childers have filed to run for the seats they hold on the school board. He said that White and Jeter have not filed to run for their seats and that no one has filed to run for any of the seats on the fire boards.
Vanderford said that those interested in running for any of the school board or fire board seats must file with the Voter Registrar’s Office by noon Aug. 15. To do so, Vanderford said candidates must first go online at ethics.sc.gov and fill out and file their statement of economic interest with the State Ethics Commission. Once they’ve done so, Vanderford said they must download a receipt from the site stating they have filed their statement of economic interest. He said they must then bring it to the Registrar’s Office and turn it in to the registrar who will give them a statement of candidacy which they must then fill out. Once that is done their name will be placed on the ballot.
If, however, no one does this by the filing deadline at noon Aug. 15, Vanderford said the seats without candidates will have to be filled via write-in votes.
One of the most defining features of the 2012 election season in Union County has been the efforts by a number of candidates to get on or get back on the November ballot after having been removed as a result of a decision by the State Supreme Court.
The court ruled in May that candidates for public office must provide their party with a paper copy of their statement of economic interest regardless of whether it had been filed electronically. This resulted in 10 of the 17 candidates running as Democrats or Republicans being removed from the June 12 primary ballot or the Nov. 6 general ballot by their respective party. Since then, nine of those candidates have been collecting signatures of the voters in their respective districts to run as petition candidates in the November general election.
After collecting the required number of signatures on their petitions of candidacy, the candidates turned them in to the registrar’s office for certification. Vanderford said Wednesday that in certifying the signatures the registrar’s office has determined that a number of the signatories no longer live at the addresses the office has on record for them. While this has not caused any problems for the candidates, it could cause problems for the voters when they go to the polls in November. He urged those who have new addresses and have not notified the registrar’s office to do so as soon as possible.
“In checking the petitions we’ve found where a number of people have changed addresses but did not notify the registrar’s office,” Vanderford said. “If you’ve changed your address since the last election contact the registrar’s office, either by phone or by coming by, and get in the right precinct before election time so there’s no problems.”
The Union County Voter Registrar’s Office is located at 320 E. Main St., Union, and can be reached at 429-1616.