Butterfield, Washburn seek write-in candidates

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Area cities utilize new candidate affidavit requirement

Butterfield and Washburn still have aldermen positions where write-in candidates may be required to fill the openings during April 7 elections.

Write-in candidates do not have to file candidacy documents before the elections. They may not even know they were nominated until after the elections.

In the past, qualified voters have nominated Donald Duck, Daffy Duck and Mickey Mouse as write-in candidates, said Gary Youngblood, Barry County clerk. He recommends that each write-in candidate be eligible for that position and would like to serve.

"But obviously, there's not much interest, or they would have filed," Youngblood said. "That's the concern I know those cities have."

The County Clerk's Office counts the names on each ballot, and it sends the tally information to every political subdivision. Then, the subdivisions determine whether the candidates are eligible or whether they want the position.

Area write-in candidates who show interest in filling a position must provide a picture ID, address, proof of residency and a voter registration card. They are also required to file form 5120 with the Missouri Department of Revenue that shows they are not delinquent on state income taxes, personal property taxes, municipal taxes or real property taxes. The appropriate political subdivision receives a copy.

This election is the first time that Washburn required candidates to fill out form 5120, said Julie Grillone, Washburn city clerk.

"[In the previous elections], it was up to myself as the election authority taking the application to make sure that [candidates] provided me with copies of paid receipts, and now the state has form 5120 that they fill out, stating that information and then they send it in," Grillone said.

She does not expect to hear anything from the Department of Revenue unless something was invalid, she said.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed House Bill 1136 -- which extended the requirement for candidates to provide affidavits of tax payments and bonding requirements in board of education, municipal and other local elections -- into law on June 5.

The intent of the law was to extend the requirements for local nonpartisan candidates to fill out affidavits that showed the candidates were not delinquent on taxes, said Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, who co-sponsored the bill. The State House, Senate and other statewide candidates already had to fill out affidavits.

In Butterfield, incumbent Mark Thomas has filed for the two-year east ward alderman position. Guadalupe Meza, west ward alderwoman, did not file for reelection to the two-year position.

If the west ward alderman position is left vacant after the April elections, then the Butterfield Board of Alderman can appoint an eligible candidate to fill the position until the next election cycle in 2015, said Tracy Anders, Butterfield city clerk.

In Washburn, Mayor John Tiedeman, Alderman Jeremy Johnston and Alderwoman Mary Roller each filed for reelection for two-year terms. No candidate filed for a one-year alderman position.

The third alderman position was left vacant after an alderman left the city limits and gave up the position, Grillone said. Washburn has at-large alderman positions.

"The last two years, we've had write-ins for the vacant positions," she said.

Johnston was one of five write-in candidates in the April 2014 elections, Grillone said. If two or more write-in candidates are interested, then the Washburn Board of Aldermen decides who will fill position. If a position is left vacant, then the board can appoint an eligible candidate to fill the position until the next election.

In Exeter, Mayor Rusty Reed; Jimmie Morse, north ward alderman; and Rhonda Scott, south ward alderwoman, each filed for reelection. All the openings are two-year terms.

Myrna Eisenbraun, Exeter city clerk, said the Exeter Board of Alderman has unanimously approved a ballot measure ordinance allowing the city to forego the April elections, as the number of applicants is equal to he number of available positions.

If qualified voters approve the measure, Exeter could save an average of $450 per municipal election, Eisenbraun said. Voters must approve the measure every six years.

Cities, towns or villages with 1,000 people or fewer can add a similar measure to their ballot, according to state statutes. Each measure would be good for six calendar years after qualified voters approve it.

In Purdy, Mayor Steve Roden and Wayne Rupp, ward two alderman, filed for reelection. Robert Moser, ward one alderman, did not file for reelection. Bo Prock filed for the ward one alderman position. All the openings are two-year terms.

In Wheaton, Mayor David Shockley; Gary Bates, east ward alderman; and Naomi Young, west ward alderwoman, filed for reelection. All the openings are two-year terms.

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