By Tim Gardner
As of Friday morning, July 12, eight candidates have filed for municipal township governing seats in Avery County.
Filing began on Friday, July 5 for statewide municipal (city and town) elections.
Seats are open for some Mayor and Town Council seats in the following Avery townships: Newland, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Elk Park, Village of Sugar Mountain, Village of Grandfather, Beech Mountain and Seven Devils.
Candidates who have filed in Avery County include: incumbent Ray Allen Bolick for Banner Elk Town Council; incumbents Jesse Smith and Jane Milanovich for Crossnore Town Council; incumbents Bob Donovan for Mayor and Richard C. Norman for Town Council in the Village of Grandfather; Elaine McKinney Crane for Elk Park Town Council; Lewis (Van) Lecka for Town Council and Gunter Jochl for Mayor in the Village of Sugar Mountain. Jochl is an incumbent, but not as Mayor. He is currently a member of the Village’s Town Council.
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 which county they reside.
No candidates from Avery County have filed for offices in Beech Mountain or Seven Devils. However, four have filed for Beech Mountain Town Council from Watauga County: Wendel Sauer (incumbent), Renee Castiglione (incumbent), Kelly Melang and Jimmie Accardi.
Also, incumbent Larry Fontaine (Mayor) and Wayne Bonomo (Town Council) have also filed for seats in Seven Devils from Watauga County.
Filing ends next Friday, July 19, at 12:00 Noon and must be done in person at the Board of Election Office in which a voter resides. Filing for any municipal office costs $5.00.
On Monday, October 7, Absentee Voting by Mail begins for the General Election and Friday, October 11 at 5:00 p.m. is the voter registration deadline. One stop early voting begins October 16 and ends November 2.
General Election Day is November 5, 2019, and voting may be done then from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
According to Avery Election officials, early voting may be done at the Avery County Board of Elections office, located in the Avery County Court House at 200 Montezuma Street, #307, in Newland.
The early voting days and hours of operation are:
Wednesday, October 16- Friday, October 18 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Monday, October 21 – Friday,October 25 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Monday, October 28- Friday,November 1 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 2 (Only Saturday) 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Voting on General Election Day can be done at each township’s voting site.
Voter registration may be done at the Board of Elections Office.
Anyone eligible to vote in Avery County’s municipal elections 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
*If moved to another county in North Carolina, that individual will need to register to vote in municipal elections in that county.
Further information about the Avery County municipal elections may be obtained at the Elections Office or by calling (828) 733-8282.