The road to election day starts Friday when qualifying petitions become available for those who will be seeking office this coming year.
“We have most local offices up for election so we’re expecting quite a field,” said election administrator Donna Smith. She noted every eight years the eight-year judicial offices (district attorney, general sessions judge, circuit judge and public defender) coincide with the four-year county offices to make what some call a super election.
The starting line begins Friday when candidates may pick up qualifying petitions. Qualifying will continue until Feb. 20.
“This will not include offices like constable and School Board because they do not have party primaries,” Smith said. “And, city elections are not until November so those petitions are still quite a ways off.”
The first chance to cast ballots will be the May 6 primaries. Early voting for that election begins April 16.
Smith said in addition to getting the signatures of 25 registered voters, some offices require special certification which must be obtained in advance of the qualifying deadline. Those offices include sheriff and road superintendent.
While qualifying begins Friday, Smith said she is aware there have been some candidates spending money despite not having a campaign treasurer set up. Raising or spending money on a campaign is illegal without having a campaign treasurer registered with the election office. It is a way for the state to keep tabs on the amount of money raised and how it is spent.