Board of Elections director reacts to suspension of candidate filing
Published 12:18 pm Friday, December 10, 2021
The North Carolina Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended candidate filing for all offices for the 2022 primary elections, according to a press release from the North Carolina State Board of Elections.
This includes filing for rescheduled municipal contests, and any separate filing period in January for those contests.
The Supreme Court also pushed the date of the primary and rescheduled municipal elections back more than two months to May 17, 2022. It had been scheduled for March 8.
For any candidate whose filing has been accepted by the State Board of Elections or any county board of elections, that candidate “will be deemed to have filed for the same office” in the May primary, subject to any court rulings that would impact that candidate’s eligibility, according to the Supreme Court order.
Those candidates would be able to withdraw their candidacy during the new filing period. Any individual who withdraws their candidacy is free to file for any other office for which they are eligible during the reopened filing period.
Dates for a new filing period have not been set. Candidate filing started Monday and was supposed to run through Dec. 17. As of Wednesday evening, 23 candidates had filed for local positions.
The decision came as a complete surprise to Kimberly Blackwelder, director of elections for the county.
“No, I was absolutely not expecting it,” she said.
There is no date yet on when candidates can resume filing, but Blackwelder estimates it might not be until February.
“I’m figuring they’ll do a whole (two-week) filing period again, but I really don’t know,” she said.
The suspension will not impact the candidates who have already filed, Blackwelder said, noting that they will still need to complete their required reports and paperwork within the required time period.
Chris Miller contributed to this report.