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Thirty-Three Candidates File in 2023 Avery County Municipal Election Races

The two-week filing period for Tuesday, November 7, 2023 partisan and non-partisan municipal (city, town and village) General Election in North Carolina began at 12:00 noon Friday, July 7 and closed on Friday, July 21 at 12:00 noon.  A total of 33 candidates filed in Avery County.

All those who filed for a municipal government position in the state were required do so in person at the Board of Election Office in the county in which he or she resides.  

Avery County has eight townships–Newland, Banner Elk, Elk Park, Crossnore, Village of Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain, Village of Grandfather, and Seven Devils.  Mayoral seats will be on the ballot in five of those townships and Town Council, Council Member or Alderman seats will be voted on in all of them. 

Newland will have three town council seats open. Banner Elk will have three town council seats and the mayor’s seat open. Crossnore will have the mayor and three town council seats available. Elk Park will have the most governmental seats available as all five town council seats are open, as well as the mayor’s seat. The Village of Sugar Mountain will have two town council seats and the mayor’s seat available. The Village of Grandfather will have two council member seats and the mayor’s seat open.  Beech Mountain will have four town council seats available–three for regular terms and one to fill an unexpired term. Three town council seats will be open in Seven Devils.

Some sections of Beech Mountain and Seven Devils are in Avery County and other parts are in Watauga County.  Voters in those elections must cast their ballots in the county in which they reside. 

There will only be non-partisan elections and no second or runoff races in any Avery municipal election.  Any opposed candidate who wins by just one vote will be elected.

It cost $5.00 to file to run in a municipal election in North Carolina.

The complete list of all Avery County Municipal Elections candidates for each township as per the Avery County Board of Elections includes:

Town of Banner Elk Mayor-

Brenda Lyerly (Incumbent)

Town of Banner Elk Town Council Member-

Charles Banner VonCanon (Incumbent)

David Lecka (Incumbent)

Town of Beech Mountain Town Council-

M.W. Stanford

Robert McMichael

Allen Villanova

Susan Jones

Town of Beech Mountain Town Council (Unexpired)-

Kelly McLang (Incumbent)

Town of Crossnore Mayor-

Eddie Yarber (Incumbent)

Town of Crossnore Alderman-

Terry Smith (Incumbent)

Roy Ingram (Incumbent)

Jesse C. Smith (Incumbent)

Town of Elk Park Mayor-

Daniel Boone (Incumbent)

Town of Elk Park Council Member-

Alice Whittington (Incumbent)

Darlene Hicks (Incumbent)

Tony Eller (Incumbent)

Mike Smith (Incumbent)

Brad Benfield

Joel Whitley (Incumbent)

Village of Grandfather Village Mayor-

Richard C. Norman (Incumbent)

Village of Grandfather Village Council-

Stephen Hawes

Charles (Chuck) Fuller (Incumbent)

Town of Newland Council Member-

Kenan Foxx

David P. Calvert

Gail Haller (Incumbent)

Nancy E. Davis

Christian (Christie) Hughes (Incumbent)

Town of Seven Devils Town Council-

Larry Fontaine (Incumbent)

Bob Bridges

Wayne L. Bonomo (Incumbent)

Village of Sugar Mountain Mayor-

Gunther Jochl (Incumbent)

Village of Sugar Mountain Council Member-

Dick Casey (Incumbent)

Wade Wittman (Incumbent)

Voting on General Election Day may be done from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at each township’s voting site.

Beginning with this year’s municipal elections, North Carolina voters will be asked to show photo Identification (ID) when they vote. To be eligible to vote in a municipal election, a voter must live in that municipality for at least thirty (30) days (October 8) before General Election Day. The voter registration deadline is twenty-five (25) days (October 13) before General Election Day.  Voter Registration Forms must be received in the Elections Office or postmarked by the deadline. Each voter will be sent a voter card showing his/her assigned voting precinct.

Other eligibility guidelines to vote in North Carolina’s municipal elections, include that a voter must:

*Be a citizen of the United States

*Be a resident of North Carolina and their voting township for at least 30 days prior to an election

*Be at least 18 years of age by the next General Election

*Not be registered to vote in another township 

*If convicted of a felony, have had his or her citizenship rights restored

Voter registration in Avery County may be done at the Avery County Board of Elections office, located in the Avery County Court House at 200 Montezuma Street, Suite #307, in Newland.  It is generally open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Those eligible may also register to vote in North Carolina at a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Office when conducting official DMV business, or at another state agency when applying for benefits.

One stop, early voting begins Thursday, October 19 and ends Saturday, November 4 in Avery County, and may be conducted at the Board of Elections office. 

Specific early voting dates and times for the 2023 municipal elections in Avery County include:

Thursday, October 19     8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.  

Friday, October 20    8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. 

Monday, October 23    8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 24    8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, October 25    8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 26    8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Friday, October 27     8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Monday, October 30     8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 31    8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 1     8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 2    8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Friday, November 3      8:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Saturday November 4      8:00 a.m.  – 3:00 p.m. 

On Friday, October 6, County Boards of Elections will begin mailing absentee ballots for November municipal elections to eligible voters who submitted an absentee ballot request. Registered voters in North Carolina must request an absentee ballot with an official North Carolina Absentee Ballot Request Form. Absentee ballots can be accessed online through the North Carolina State Board of Elections web site at: ncsbe.gov/voting/vote-mail

After completing, submit the form to the county board of elections or in person or by mail via the U.S. Postal Service, Global Logistics and International Shipping (DHL), Federal Express (FedEx), or United Parcel Service (UPS).

The status of a requested absentee ballot can be tracked from printed to accepted by signing up online for status notifications through BallotTrax, which will be available 30 days prior to each election in 2023.

Tuesday, October 31 at 5:00 p.m. is the Civilian Absentee Ballot request deadline for November municipal elections. And Tuesday, November 7 at 5:00 p.m. is the Civilian Absentee Ballot return deadline. A Civilian Absentee Ballot is for anyone who is not military or overseas using an absentee ballot.

Further information about the Avery County municipal elections may can be obtained in person at the Elections Office or by calling (828) 733-8282.

Additional details about 2023 State of North Carolina Municipal Elections can be accessed by logging online to: ncsbe.gov/voting/upcoming election.