Johnson County will hold its 2013 consolidated elections April 9 with positions for mayors, clerks, trustees and school board members all on the ballot.
Not all positions have candidates and in many cases candidates in Johnson County are running unopposed as the deadline for filing ends Thursday.
Consolidated elections are notorious for low-voter turnout and Johnson County Clerk/Recorder Robin Harper-Whitehead said she does not understand why as the elections result in members who shape the county’s future.
“We are voting for the members who make decisions for our youth and make decisions which effect about 70 percent of the tax rates,” said Harper-Whitehead in an email Monday. “This election costs the same to run as a Primary or General Election and with the voter turnout being small in the past, it makes the cost increase per voter.”
The April 9 consolidated elections will include candidates for school board members in Buncombe, Cypress, Goreville, New Simpson Hill and Vienna. Mayors and presidents in each of Johnson County’s villages are up for election with several current office holders running unopposed. The Village of Cypress was without a mayoral candidate at press time Tuesday and the county clerk’s office said the village would have to appoint one after the election if no one runs.
A full listing of the April 9 consolidated election candidates will be published Feb. 27 as absentee voting by mail or by person begins Feb. 28 and runs up until the day before the election. Grace period voting for people who are not registered or need to change their address or name is set for March 13 through April 2 and early voting is set to begin March 13 and run through April 2. Early voting in the precincts will be available in Vienna March 21 from 4-7 p.m. at Autumn Ridge Supported Living Facility and in Goreville March 20 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the village hall. The site at New Simpson Hill School will not host an early voting this election.
“The city and village board members are very important to us,” said Harper-Whitehead about the need to fill vacant seats. “These positions need to be filled by persons who are living in the village limits and cares for their towns.”
The Vienna Times and Goreville Gazette will publish answers to candidate questionnaires Feb. 27 to help the people of Johnson County get to know their candidates a little better.