More candidates join race for City Hall

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 12, 2004

Qualifying for the Greenville municipal election continued throughout the week with more candidates announcing their intention to run.

As of Friday afternoon at 5:46 p.m. all the incumbents had qualified to seek reelection and four candidates also qualified to run.

Mayor Dexter McLendon remains unopposed.

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In the District 1 race, the incumbent Susan Samford Murphy is facing opposition from Dr. Jean A. Thompson.

In the District 2 race, the incumbent, Ed Sims will face Percy C. Nixon.

District 3 incumbent Otto Duke faces two challengers from Tommy Ryan and Phillip Graham.

Neither Council incumbents James Lewis, nor Jeddo Bell have opposition at this time for Districts 4 and 5.

The deadline to qualify is July 20 by 5 p.m.

One thing that all candidates believe is that it is important to vote.

History in area elections show that is often a few votes separating the winner from the field.

All will tell you the importance of registering to vote and then exercising that right.

Registering to vote is a very simple process.

However, many times people neglect to do so for a variety of reasons.

Some claim it takes up too much time. Others say they don’t know the correct place to register.

For whatever reason, people make a very simple process sound complicated.

Though people vote in many different types of elections you are only required to register once and that is with the Butler County Board of Registrars.

Greenville Assistant City Clerk Sue Arnold said it all starts with a trip to the courthouse.

&uot;If you’ve never registered to vote it doesn’t matter if you’re voting in a city or county election, you have to start from scratch,&uot; said Arnold. &uot;You have to officially register to vote at the Office of Registrars.&uot;

For unregistered voters the deadline to register is drawing near.

Voters must sign up 10 days before the election to be eligible.

This year, that day will fall on Friday Aug. 13 for the August 24 election.

The same rule applies for people who are registered voters, but have moved.

Those who have moved to a new location must fill out a Voter Update Form to confirm a new voting location if the move takes them out of their district.

Like the initial registration, this can be taken care of at the Registrars Office.

&uot;If they have changed their address or their name they should contact the Butler County Registrars Office located in the courthouse to update their registration,&uot; said Arnold.

Arnold said people often remember to change their information for other things, but don’t realize they have to do the same for their voter registration.

&uot;Often when people move or their address changes they remember to change the address on their magazines and newspaper subscriptions,&uot; said Arnold. &uot;But rarely are they going to remember to update their voter registration. It’s just not something they think about.&uot;

In one case, even if people have remained in the same location they may still need to check to make sure their registered address matched their physical address.

In 1998 E-911 began giving street names to unnamed county roads and other places to make things more uniform.

Because of this many addresses have changed.

The change can pose a problem when voters arrive to cast their vote if the addresses on record are incorrect.

The city asks that everyone who may have been affected by the change check his or her information prior to the election.

The city has taken measures to help people determine what district they vote in.

There is a map on display in the lobby of City Hall, as well as the Registrars Office that have the districts clearly divided.

Arnold said people should put the maps to use because of recent district line changes.

&uot;There may be some changes because of the 2002 census so people should check to see if the district number in which they reside has changed,&uot; said Arnold.

On Election Day, the voter lists at the polls will reflect the information on file. Not updating your voter registration file at the Butler County Courthouse may mean your name is in the wrong district or not on the list at all.

Managing Editor Jay Thomas contributed to this report.