The decision to move the presidential primaries in North Carolina to March 15 will also impact local elections next year.
“Essentially the primary that has traditionally been held in North Carolina in May of even-numbered years will take place in March next year,” said Stokes County Board of Elections Director Jason Perry. “Until it was changed in late September, the law called for a first Primary in May 2016 (for governor, county offices, etc.) and a Presidential Preference Primary earlier in the year. Those two elections have been consolidated now.”
In Stokes County that means filing for three local seats, two county commissioner’s seats currently held by Leon Inman and Jimmy Walker and the Register of Deeds currently held by Kathy Young, will begin at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 1 and end at noon on Monday, Dec. 21.
“Other candidates who would file for office at the elections office in Danbury would be those for state House and state Senate, if those candidates live in Stokes,” said Perry. “For instance, if Bryan Holloway seeks re-election for state House, as a King resident he would come to Danbury. If Shirley Randleman files for re-election for state Senate, as a resident of Wilkes County she would go to the elections office there.”
Perry said the new legislation also changed regulations for party affiliation.
“Previously, if a voter who was already registered in Stokes County wanted to run for office as a member of a political party, he or she had to be a member of that party – based on our voter records – for at least 90 days,” he said. “Now such a candidate has to be a member for at least 75 days. The deadline to make such a party change is Oct. 7. For example, if a current Stokes County voter is registered Unaffiliated and decided to run for county commissioner as a Republican, a registration form indicating that change would need to get to us by Oct. 7. If it did, that person could file for office on Dec. 21, 75 days later.”
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.