CARROLLTON --- With Christy Noah’s resignation as Beat 5 election commissioner, a special election must be held to fill her unexpired term and someone must be appointed before the election to fill the vacancy to help prepare for the primary election in August.
Noah resigned from the seat to seek another elected office. Circuit Clerk Durward Stanton said Noah was required to vacate the seat before qualifying to run for another elected position.
Last week, the Carroll County Board of Supervisors appointed John E. Welch, who was recommended by Commissioner Carolyn Summerville, to fill Noah’s position until a special election can be held. Stanton said the special election for Election Commissioner Beat 5 will coincide with the general election, which takes place on Nov. 5.
Supervisors asked about Welch’s background and if he was a perfect fit for the position.
“He’s a retired serviceman, he’s very intelligent, and he impressed me and that means something,” Summerville said. “He picked up on our process very well, and he’s really competent. I wouldn’t hesitate one minute to tell him, ‘Do my job.’”
Stanton said he spoke with Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann’s office, and he was told him the state has decided to do something a little different with the special elections this year.
“Before the special election would have its own ballot at the end, after the general election ballot, but this year, it’ll be in the place where it would normally be on the ballot, but it would be marked special election,” he said.
Stanton said if Welch was appointed to the position, he could still run for the seat during the special election. Election Commissioners go up for re-election during the 2020 presidential general election.
“Do they not stagger?” Supervisor Rickie Corley asked Stanton.
“Not yet,” he said. “They all serve a four-year term now. They will start to stagger in 2020.”
Stanton explained that any election commissioner in an odd-numbered beat would serve a four year and any election commissioner in an even number beat would serve a three-year term.
Stanton said those wanting to qualify for the position can do so on Sept. 5, 60 days before the special election is to take place.