As the calendar flips to 2011, so does the focus of many Indiana cities and towns toward municipal elections.
In Clay County, elections will take place in the Brazil, Clay City, along with the towns of Carbon, Center Point, Harmony, Knightsville and Staunton, on Tuesday, May 3 (Primary Election) and Tuesday, Nov. 8 (Municipal Election).
Candidates may quickly throw their hats into the ring starting Monday, as it is the first day an independent or minor party candidate may file a petition of nomination for the municipal election.
Then, major party candidates may begin to file their declaration of candidacy for the Primary on Wednesday, Jan. 19, and the Clay County Election Office must receive all declarations by noon, Friday, Feb. 18.
Candidates will then have the weekend to reconsider running for office, as the deadline to withdraw their candidacy is noon, Monday, Feb. 21.
Following the Primary Election, candidates unhappy with the results have until noon, Tuesday, May 17 to file for a verified election recount or contest petition.
Thursday, June 30, is also an important day for candidates and political parties to remember. The Democratic and Republican parties will have until noon that day to select a candidate to fill a vacancy on the ballot, while independent and minor party candidates must file a petition of nomination for the purpose of verifying petition signatures by noon as well.
In order to appear on the Municipal Election ballot, an independent or minor party candidate must receive signatures from at least 2 percent of the total number of votes in the previous election for Secretary of State in their respective precinct(s).
Current Common Council of the City of Brazil member (Wards 3 and 6) Steve Lamb, who announced his intention to run independently in November 2009, would need only 10 signatures on his petition as 477 ballots were cast for Secretary of State between Brazil 3 (323) and Brazil 6 (154).
Those interested in being a write-in candidate on the 2011 General Election ballot must file a declaration of intent to do so by noon, Tuesday, July 5, while noon Friday, July 15 is the deadline for any candidate to voluntarily withdraw from the municipal election ballot.
Finally, candidates will have until noon, Tuesday, Nov. 22, to file a request for a verified recount or contest petition of the results following the Municipal Election.
Voter registration, which is currently open, will end at the close of business Monday, April 4, for the Primary Election, and will be re-open from Tuesday, May 17 to Tuesday, Oct. 11, for the Municipal Election.
Other than registering at the Clay County Election Office or a branch of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, residents may fill out an application online at www.indianavoters.com. Through this web site, potential voters may also locate their polling place, along with who will be on the ballot in their respective precinct, as the information becomes available to the Indiana Secretary of State's Election Division. In addition, a mobile version of the site was made available in October.
The entire 2011 Municipal Election Calendar is available for viewing at http://www.in.gov/sos/elections/files/20....
On the ballot
The following positions will be up for grabs during the 2011 Municipal Elections in Clay County:
* Brazil -- Mayor, Clerk-Treasurer, Council At-Large, Council Ward 1, Council Ward 2, Council Wards 3/6 and Council Ward 4,
* Carbon -- Clerk-Treasurer and Council At-Large (three positions),
* Center Point -- Clerk-Treasurer and Council At-Large (three positions),
* Clay City -- Clerk-Treasurer and Council At-Large (three positions),
* Harmony -- Clerk-Treasurer, Council Ward 1, Council Ward 2, Council Ward 3 and Council Ward 4,
* Knightsville -- Clerk-Treasurer and Council At-Large (three positions), and
* Staunton -- Clerk-Treasurer and Council At-Large (three positions).