Ordinance 23: Town Election & Qualification of Voters
Within the Limits of the Town of Townsend Be It enacted by the President and Council of the Town of Townsend, the President and a Majority of Council Concerning Therein:
Section 1 – Eligibility of Voters
Any citizen of age eighteen years and older who has resided within the city limits of the Town of Townsend for at least thirty (30) days before the election or/and owns property in the Town of Townsend shall be entitled to vote; provided, however, that no person shall be entitled to vote whose name does not appear upon the last list of registered voters of the Town of Townsend.
Section 2 – List of Registered Voters
It shall be the responsibility of the Council to compile and keep a list of registered voters. Council may delegate this responsibility to the Town Clerk.
Section 3 – Registration Book
There shall be kept two books, which shall be the Registration Book of Voters. The said books shall accurately reflect the list of those persons who are entitled to vote. The Council shall keep one book and the Town Elections Clerk shall keep the other book.
Section 4 – Registration of Voters
Council shall appoint a Board of Registration to sit on the first Saturday in April for the purpose of adding to the list of registered voters any unregistered person who shall apply and provide proof of age and residency or property ownership under oath. Council shall se the time, date and place for the holding of the registration of voters on days other than the first Saturday in April, but in no event shall such day be later than two weeks prior to the Election Day. Notice of the time, date and place shall be by posting notice in two places in the Town in addition to publication in a newspaper with general circulation in the area encompassing the Town limits, at least ten days prior to the day of registration.
Section 5 – Deletion of Voters
The Board of Registration shall remove those names of voters from the registration book who have moved from the Town, Failed to vote in the last three (3) previous Town elections or are otherwise disqualified from voting.
Section 6 – Holding of Election
Council shall appoint three individuals who are registered voters and not candidates in the election to act as Election Judges. The Election Judges shall be responsibly for the casting of ballots by registered voters. At the close of the election, the Election Judges shall immediately and publicly read the votes. The reading of the votes shall continue until completed. The final results shall thereup on be publicly announced, a plurality of votes cast decides the winner. After the announcement of the results, the Election Judges shall certify the total number of votes cast and the total numbers of votes received by each candidate. Certification shall be in written form under oath from under oath to be delivered to the Council at its next meeting where Council shall declare the votes to be final.
Section 7 – Contest
Any candidate who is aggrieved by the results of the election shall contest the election by filing a written complaint with the Council no later than 12 noon on the day on which Council shall declare the vote’s final as herein provided. Said Complaint shall be written under oath and Sate:
A. The name of the candidate.
B. Office sought by the candidate.
C. Specific facts upon which the complaint is based, including
a. Fraud or mistaken stated with particularity
b. Number of votes affected
c. Whether then number of votes affect the election results
D. Whether information is from personal knowledge or upon information or belief.
Upon receipt of the complaint, Council shall review the complaint and if in Council’s opinion, the complaint is without merit, dismiss the complaint or Council may conduct a hearing on the complaint and after such hearing determine the final results of the election. Should the election in which a complaint is filed involve a member of the Council then such member shall be disqualified to sit on Council for the review resolution of the complaint.
Section 8 – Filing of Candidacy
Any person residing within the city limits of the Town of Townsend who is entitled to vote as provided in Section 1 shall be eligible to file to seek a position on Council provided, however, such person has first obtained the signature of ten citizens of the Town of Townsend in the form of a petition and such petition is filed with the Secretary no later that thirty (30) days immediately preceding the election.
Section 9 – Ballots
Votes shall be cast privately by printed ballots or by voting machines, whichever Council decides. The formal name of each candidate and office running for shall clearly appear thereon. Council may determine whether write-in votes will be allowed.
Section 10 – Run-Off Election
In the even that a tie vote occurs making it impossible to declare a winner, a new election between those candidates who have tied shall be held within 30 days.
Section 11 – Term of Office
All successful candidates shall hold office until a successor is elected and qualified.
Section 12 – Elections where there is only one candidate
In any election where there is only one (1) candidate for each office, if none of the official candidates has a Formal opponent on the day of election, the official candidates may assume office without the holding of a formal election.
First Reading: February 9, 1983; Second & Final Reading: March 11, 1983; Effective: March 11, 1983; Passed by Town Council: March 11, 1983; Signed by Town Council President: James W. McDowell Sr.