Carrboro special election date a challenge for campaigners and voters

Carrboro's decision to call a special election for Tuesday, March 19 will be a challenge for campaigns, what with UNC on Spring Break starting March 8 and classes resuming March 18. Important media like the DTH will suspend publication the prior week, and while the Town Board has recognized that it will have early voting, March 8-March 16 early voting dates will also be during break when many students, faculty and staff take vacation. Early voting can start as early as Thursday, February 28 -- so I would hope that Carrboro when it enters into an agreement with the Orange County Board of Elections will emphasize the February 28 to March 7 dates if it decides it can not afford to pay for early voting the whole 17 allowable dates.  Alternatively it could have less than seven days per week the whole 17 day run (like maybe Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays for the whole period.) The March 8-17 period will be a challenge for campaigners as well.  Not quite sure why March 26 or April 2 wasn't picked which would have avoided these campaigning problems. Hopefully March 19 won't see snow. agenda item link from last night:




The Town of Carrboro Board of Aldermen have lost their minds.  With budget cuts the way they are, the Board has decided to spend thousands of dollars instead of either waiting to fill the seat in the regular November 2013 Election or voting to change their "charter" (or whatever it is called), so they can either wait for the election or appoint a replacement.  So, not only will the Town have to PAY the FULL COST of THIS SPECIAL ELECTION, but ALSO PAY THEIR PORTION OF THE NOV 2013 ELECTION.  TWICE THE COST!!!  If Carrboro has this much money to waste, I am sure the employees would love a decent raise.

I listened to the video of last night's meeting just now.  The question was asked when UNC spring break is this year -- Mayor Chilton made the statement that classes resume Monday March 11 thus allowing a full week of campaigning before the March 19 special election. This is simply incorrect. Classes do not resume until March 18. In fact, UNC Medical School has spring break the week of March 18."In an effort to keep the cost of the election low, the board opted to keep the early voting period to the minimum time required."Carrboro will be paying Orange County to have 13 days of early voting IN HILLSBOROUGH (12 weekdays and a final Saturday) because that is a statutory requirement (another fail of the poorly thought through 2007 charter amendment) -- the county board can only pick a primary early voting site other than the BoE office if it is "reasonably proximate" to the Board of Elections office. Carrboro does not seem to fit that bill.  So after paying for 13 days 17 miles away, Carrboro wants to have a minimum of early voting in Carrboro that is actually useful in order to save money?

Suppose there is only one candidate. Does the election still have to take place?

Yes, as write-ins are allowed


Ah, of course. Forgot about that.  I'm thinking this is the first and last special election for Carrboro. 

All of this to me points to why having mandated special elections is silly. The elected body should have the option to appoint someone should they desire. I hope they will change the law, but I don't see how they can get around following it right now. It's hard not to miss the irony of the Aldermen instituting this new policy after the divisive appointment of Dan Coleman, then it being triggered for the first time by Dan's departure, and then the supposedly-democratic process is now critiqued just as much as the appointment process was.I hope those who habitually complain about Chapel Hill's Town Council appointments are taking note.

... sorry if that's so

Gerry, I think you have some legitimate concerns about the timing. But I think they'd be better received if they were raised by someone who lived in Carrboro. I want Damon to win the seat, but the sooner he does the less he'll be able to help with OP. So I see Carrboro's gain as my loss, and I'm personally kind of neutral about when that happens.

Well for what it's worth my son lives in Carrboro three days a week and commutes back Sunday nights to work the weekdays in Iredell County. So it's not like I don't spend time and $$$ in Carrboro. And his GF who is a Carrboro resident is on med school spring break the week of March 18 which is break for that large program.


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