Election process is under way

Feb 10, 2014

The long road to the November mid-term elections started Monday when candidates became eligible to actually file for office.

There has been a lot of political posturing and news releases about potential candidates, but unless they pay a filing fee and sign the paperwork to officially file, their name won’t be on the May primary ballot. North Carolina has a two-party system, meaning candidates must declare they are either a Democrat or a Republican to be on the May ballot. There is a growing number of unaffiliated voters, and this group can decide which party primary to vote in, but may not choose both.

The filing period to seek public office for partisan offices ends at noon on Feb. 28, so the window of opportunity for those willing to serve is short.

In addition to a number of county offices, including county commissioner, sheriff, register of deeds, tax collector and clerk of court, there are legislative seats up for grabs. Those willing to serve on a nonpartisan board such as school board or sewer and conservation districts file for office later in the year.

There are many ways to serve a community, and putting yourself in the public spotlight to be an elected public servant isn’t for everyone. But it is an important job and one that requires a significant committment.

Those who believe they have something to offer shouldn’t let the process — or the cynicism often linked to public service — be a barrier.

Now is the time for those with good ideas on how our government can work better to step forward and share them.