A phone conference meeting of the Wilkes County Board of Elections is scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday to consider extending the filing period for candidates in this year’s North Wilkesboro Board of Commissioners election, announced Wilkes Board of Elections Director Kim Caudill at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Unless the five-member Wilkes Board of Elections votes to extend it, the filing period for three North Wilkesboro commissioner seats on the ballot ends at noon Friday. The filing period for mayor and two council seats in Wilkesboro and for municipal positions on ballots statewide this year also ends at noon Friday.

By 5 p.m. Wednesday, incumbent Bert Hall was the only person who had filed in North Wilkesboro.

Hall, Joe Johnston and Junior Goforth are up for re-election as North Wilkesboro commissioners. Johnston said July 12 that he wouldn’t seek re-election and Goforth said July 15 that he was undecided.

“Based on past personal experience, I have a feeling that some are interested in running in North Wilkesboro but are waiting until the last minute to see who files” before deciding, said Caudill.

Caudill said she’s confident the board will extend the filing period if Hall remains the only North Wilkesboro candidate by noon Friday and might extend it if only two have filed by then.

If approved by the board, said Caudill, the filing period extension would be for five days - from July 22-26. She said she wasn’t yet sure what time it would start July 22 or end July 26.

Under state law, a county board of elections has the option of extending the filing period for five days if the number of candidates who file is less than the number of seats on the ballot. Any seats fewer than candidates on the ballot are decided by write-in votes.

Also by 5 p.m. Wednesday, incumbent Gary Johnson of Spring Valley Road, incumbent Jimmy Hayes of Laurel Road, Andy Soots of College Street and Greg Minton of Skyland Drive and filed for two Wilkesboro council seats on the ballot this year. The only candidate for Wilkesboro mayor by then was incumbent Mike Inscore of Skyland Drive.

Town races in Wilkes are non-partisan so there are no party primaries.

The members of the Wilkes Board of Elections are Larry Taylor (chairman), Tim Joines, Larry Pendry, Margaret Cooper and Lynn Day.

Important dates

Oct. 11 is the last day to register to vote on Election Day, which is Nov. 5.

However, people eligible to vote can register and vote at the same place and time during one-stop, early voting. This period is Oct. 16 to Nov. 1. Absentee voting by mail begins on Oct. 4. The deadline to request a ballot for absentee voting by mail is 5 p.m. Oct. 29.

Filing fees

Filing fees are $10 for North Wilkesboro commissioner, $50 for Wilkesboro councilman and $84 for Wilkesboro mayor. To file for municipal office, a person must be a registered voter in Wilkes County, a resident of the municipality in which the person is filing and at least 21 years old.

The Town of Ronda won’t hold elections in 2019 because they will now be conducted in even-numbered years, starting with November 2020, under legislation signed into law this month.

More details about filing for office and other election matters are available at www.wilkescounty.net or by calling the Wilkes County Board of Elections at 336-651-7339.

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