Write-In Voting For School Board

Published 6:32 pm Thursday, October 13, 2011

CUMBERLAND – With the general election just a month away in Cumberland County, there are two open seats that will need to be filled on the School Board by write-in votes.

Earlier this summer District Four's School Board representative George Reid Jr. announced to The Herald that he would not be seeking reelection but the District Three seat will also be empty and open for write-in candidates.

Doris Seal, the School Board's current District Three representative, also did not file papers seeking reelection.

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Cumberland made the switch from an appointed School Board to an elected School Board just one election cycle ago.

When asked by The Herald about the potential to receive write-in votes, Reid responded by email and said, “If the opportunity to serve again, by write-in, presents itself, I would make a decision at that time. But I'm not anticipating any write-in votes.”

Ms. Seal could not be reached for comment.

To fill the two vacant seats on Cumberland's School Board in November in Districts Three and Four, the decision will be made by write-in votes.

Concerning spelling of names, as long as the spelling is close enough to read the voter's intent, the write-in will be counted at the closing of the polls. And related to filing campaign forms, if a write-in candidate takes in any amount of money, he or she must file the appropriate forms, but if not, no paperwork is needed, according to information relayed to The Herald by Cumberland's Registrar Marlene Watson.

The write-in process is fairly simple on the County's automated machines, Ms. Watson also noted, and there is also a new demonstration machine available in the Registrar's Office for any citizen who would like a tutorial on how the voter machines work in Cumberland.

The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

On Election Day when a voter's ballot comes up for the School Board in Districts Three and Four, which will be the last page, according to Watson, at the bottom there will be a “write-in” button.

“Tap it,” she instructed. “It takes you to the keyboard. You type the person's name. Then, you hit 'okay'.”

After hitting okay, the screen will bring the voter's ballot back up and you will see the person's name that was just typed in and voters can review their entry or click it to make a change. Afterwards, the voter then hits “next,” she advised.

Also on the ballot for Cumberland's School Board will be Ginger M. Sanderson for District One, George Lee Dowdy III for District Two, and Christine Ross for District Five.

Election day is Tuesday, November 8 and Cumberland polling locations will be open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.