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No more cleaning house in Carroll elections

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With the beginning of staggered terms for Carroll officials, voters will no longer be able to replace an entire slate of county representatives in a single election.

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — Carroll County will have a big election and a smaller election with the beginning of staggered terms this year.
This move will mean voters will not be able to elect an entirely new slate of supervisors or school board members in one election, as has been the case in the past.
The Carroll County Republican Committee has already started preparations for the first small ballot, in which voters in the Fancy Gap, Laurel Fork and Pipers Gap districts will go to the polls this November to elect their representatives on the board of supervisors and school board.
In contrast, for the 2015 county elections, the ballot will feature representatives for the at-large supervisor, Pine Creek and Sulphur Springs districts for supervisors and school board and all the constitutional officers.
(School board elections are non-partisan.)
For the supervisor candidates, Carroll Republican party officials began accepting filings for those elective offices Monday.
Instead of having the traditional preferential primary at the polls, the Republican party has opted for a mass meeting in order to choose nominees for this year’s county election, according to Bonita Williams, who is the treasurer for both Carroll County and the Carroll County Republican Committee. “This is the beginning of staggered terms, to get it in place.”
Officials with the Republican party decided to forego the expense of renting the polling places and using the voting machines by having a mass meeting this year, Williams explained.
“It is very costly to run a primary,” she said. “The party just couldn’t afford to run a primary every couple of years.”
The mass meeting date has not been set yet.
Potential Republican candidates have until Jan. 28 at noon to file for the mass meeting.
Williams reports that two candidates filed on the first day of registration — incumbent supervisors Phil McCraw of Fancy Gap and Tom Littrell of Pipers Gap.
The selection process in 2015 will again involve a preferential primary, Williams said.
Carroll County Democrats have typically selected candidates by mass meeting.
Independent candidates can file to run for elective office with the Carroll County Voter Registrar’s Office until June 11 at 7 p.m., according to General Registrar Kim Cloud.