Qualifying begins Tuesday

Published 3:12 pm Friday, June 29, 2012

The clock is ticking for those planning to seek municipal office in the City of Greenville.

This year’s municipal elections are scheduled for Aug. 28. If necessary run-off elections will be held Oct. 9, 2012.

As with all elections, there is long list of qualifications each candidate must meet to qualify for candidacy.

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The first day of qualifying is July 3 and the last day to qualify is July 17 at 5 p.m.

Each municipality is tasked with setting its own candidate qualifying fees. In Greenville, there is a $50 fee to run for either mayor or city council, according to City Clerk Sue Arnold.

According to the Alabama League of Municipalities 2012 Elections Manual, “A municipal candidate who fails to pay his qualifying fee before the qualifying deadline passed has not properly qualified, and his name should not appear on the ballot. If a candidate pays the qualification fee by check and the check is dishonored, the candidate has not met a condition for qualifying as a municipal candidate, i.e., the payment of the fee, and therefore, the candidate’s name should not be placed on the ballot.”

A Statement of Economic Interest must also be filed along with the qualifying papers, or his or her name shall not appear on the ballot.

Qualifying forms are available at the Greenville City Hall.

The following residency guidelines apply to all seeking to run for municipal office.

Candidates must reside in the corporate limits of the municipality at least 90 days prior to the election and be a qualified elector at the time of filing of the statement of candidacy.

Candidates for election from wards must have been a resident of the ward they seek to serve for at least 90 days prior to the election.

“Council members elected from wards are required to reside within the limits of the districts from which they were elected during their terms of office. In order to be a qualified elector of the municipality, a person must have resided within the municipality for at least 30 days prior to the election.”

The League also states, “the residency requirement set forth herein has been construed to mean actual physical residence and not merely legal residence for voting purposes. The term ‘resident’ refers to (home) or permanent residence as distinguished from temporary residence. Neither residence in the police jurisdiction nor ownership of property within the corporate limits qualifies a person to vote in a municipal election.

“A candidate does not establish a legal residence merely by stating an intention to reside in a particular district. A candidate must have a physical presence in the district, as well as the intention to reside in the district.”

To qualify, a candidate must also meet the following:

* No person may become a candidate for more than one office to be filled at the election.

* In filing their statements, the candidates certify that they are fully qualified to hold the respective offices for which they are candidates if elected thereto.

* Candidates must check municipal ordinances regarding campaign signs in the corporate limits of the municipality.

* Candidates must abide by the Fair Campaign Practices Act by filing with the probate judge, a list of persons who will serve as their campaign committee.

* Candidates also must file a monthly campaign disclosure report with the Probate Judge on the last day of each month up to one month from the election at which point the reports are due weekly on Fridays leading up to the election.

Any candidate wishing to announce his or her candidacy in the Greenville Advocate contact the newspaper at editor@greenvilleadvocate.com.