Chesterton Tribune

Make democracy work: Filing for public office begins January 11

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Make democracy work Filing for public office begins January 11

By JEFF SCHULTZ

In less than a week, the 2012 election season will officially kick into action as Wednesday, Jan.11, will mark the first day citizens can declare their candidacy for public office. County-level offices in this year’s upcoming primary and general elections include north district county commissioner, south district county commissioner, three at-large seats on the county council, county treasurer and surveyor.

Candidates can file as either Democrat or Republican by obtaining the proper forms from the county voter registration office located in Room 105 of the County Administration Building (155 Indiana Ave., Valparaiso).

Copies of Candidate Declaration for Primary Nomination forms can also be found online at the Indiana Secretary of State’s website, www.in.gov/sos/elections, but all forms MUST be signed in front of a notary. Head members of the voters registration office Republican Sundae Schoon and Democrat Kathy Kozuszek are both state-designated notaries and can certify forms in the voters office which requires photo ID confirmation and a $2 notary fee.

Schoon said candidates wanting to run as independents will need to file a petition of nomination for local office, or CAN-19, which requires a certain number of valid signatures, as well as completing a Candidate’s Consent Form (CAN-20).

Those wanting to run for state-level offices, such as governor, state senator or state representative, need to file with state offices.

Candidates need to file their declaration forms no later than Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 12 p.m.

Kozuszek said the state has made the decision not to include races for non-partisan school boards in this May’s primary elections. Those races will on the ballot in the November elections. Candidates running for school board will file their petitions July 25 through August 24.

Changes also have been made in how delegates for the Republican State Convention and Democrat State Convention are elected. Kozuszek said county Democrats plan to send 76 delegates to the convention who will be selected at-large in the primary elections. Schoon said Republican delegates will be elected by township instead and will have an overall delegate count of 44.

Five of those delegates will come from Westchester Twp., three from Liberty Twp., two from Jackson Twp. and one from Pine Twp. Center will have the highest tally of delegates at 13.

The primary elections also include races for precinct committeemen on their respective party’s tickets. Petitions to run as a candidate are available at the voters registration office or online.

Those filing for candidacy will also receive a manual on the state’s election laws such as when finance disclosure forms need to be submitted.

For those who ran in the 2011 municipal elections, Kozuszek reminds them to file their yearly campaign contribution reports by Wednesday, January 18 at noon.

Registration for voting can be done through the county’s voter office or by visiting www.indianavoters.com.

Voters must be registered by April 9 in order to cast their ballot in the May primary.

Posted 1/4/2012