Planning for election under way

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 4, 2003

Planning for Valley Grande’s first mayoral/town council election is already well under way. Judy Harris, in fact &045;&045; an election official &045;&045; is helping ensure election success by providing absentee ballots to those who won’t be able to vote in person on March 25.

Registered voters in Valley Grande can request an absentee ballot application by writing or calling Harris, who will verify a voter’s address before mailing an application. Applications will ask for the voter’s name, precinct and reason for not voting in person. Valid excuses include

being out of town on vacation or business, or attending school out of the county.

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Though the request for an absentee ballot application must be made in writing &045;&045; say on a typical sheet of writing paper &045;&045; it’s not necessary to fill out a formal application unless the applicant desires to do so.

Once Harris receives a valid application and checks the information against the voters’ list for Valley Grande, an absentee ballot will be mailed that day or the next business day.

Absentee ballots must be requested before March 20, Harris said; completed absentee ballots must be postmarked by no later than March 24 to be valid.

Absentee ballots &045;&045; which are identifiable by the word &uot;absentee&uot; printed at the top &045;&045; will offer nine candidates for town council, but no choice for mayor; mayoral candidate Herb Story is running unopposed.

Before being returned, the back of the completed absentee ballot envelope must be notarized or witnessed by two people. Harris will hang on to completed absentee ballots until election day. After noon on March 25, she’ll begin checking envelopes to ensure they’re valid. Once polls have closed at 6 p.m., March 25, the envelopes will be opened and the ballots entered into polling machines.

Questions concerning absentee ballots should be addressed to Harris, 872-8610, or to Valley Grande election officials,

Roland Griffin, 875-5133, or Betty Ross, 875-1881.