While City of Smithville officials have announced intentions to try and move its election date from June to August, the DeKalb County Election Commission said this week it will proceed until further notice with its plans to conduct the election June 18.
“The city’s charter specifies when the town’s elections are held and until the charter is changed, we have no choice but to follow that, and consequently, follow general law regarding time frames for certain election procedures,” said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections.
In a workshop last weekend, the Smithville Board and Mayor and Aldermen discussed a plan to ask the state legislature to approve a charter change which would move the election from the third Thursday in June to the first Thursday in August and change the current terms of city officials so that all city elections would coincide with county elections in even-numbered years. City officials believe the move would draw more voters to the polls while saving money at the same time. The board is expected to take up the issue at its’ February 3 regular meeting.
“City officials have been in contact with us regarding this potential change, but we have informed them we will proceed with all the time frames regarding a June election,” Stanley said. “We can’t anticipate what the legislature might or might not do, and we have to follow the current charter and current state law.”
Stanley said petitions for alderman can now be picked up at the election commission office on the first floor of the courthouse. The qualifying deadline is Noon, March 21st.
Stanley said any petitions issued now will be for the June 18 election. If the city is successful in timely getting the charter changed and moving the election to August, candidates who picked up a petition for the June election may have to obtain a new petition with the new election date.
“The best advice for any potential candidate is to stay in touch with the election commission office,” Stanley said. “We’ll explain the process and the obligations of the candidates. We will also certainly make them aware that a potential change is possible. But for now, we are proceeding under all the time frames relating to a June election.”