SOUTHERN UTAH – Those considering a run for office in Utah’s cities and towns have about two weeks to make that critical decision. The filing period for declaration of candidacy in municipal elections runs from June 1-7 this year, which is a shortened time frame from previous law.
The new one-week filing period for would-be candidates was effected by amendments to the state statute passed through Utah House Bill 403 in the 2013 General Session.
Other notable amendments to election law effected by H.B. 403 include:
Municipal primary elections have been moved from September to August, specifically Aug. 13 this year, though they may not be held in all municipalities depending on the number of candidates who file and each municipality’s policy. If the number of candidates for a particular office does not exceed twice the number of persons needed to fill that office, the municipality may forego the municipal primary and the candidates are considered nominated.
Write-in candidates for the general election must declare candidacy 60 days before the election, i.e. by Sept. 6 this year. No write-ins are permitted for the primary election.
This election season, each Utah municipality under a five-member city council form of government will have its mayor’s position and two council seats open for election.
General elections will be held Nov. 5.
According to Utah Code, an individual may become a candidate for municipal office if they are a citizen of the United States, registered voter and a resident of the municipality in which they intend to run for office for at least 12 months prior to filing; additional restrictions apply and would-be candidates should review the statute and any additional requirements imposed by the municipality.
The following Southern Utah cities and towns are holding elections this year. More information on each municipality’s filing process and requirements can be found by following its link.
Election law can be both complex and simple, Justin Lee, deputy director of elections with the Utah Lieutenant Governor’s office, said. He has recently spent time visiting clerks and recorders in six different municipalities throughout the state, including Washington City last week, training and preparing them for the upcoming municipal elections.
The decision to become involved in municipal politics is one with the potential to make a lasting impact on an individual, family and community. A successful candidate, and eventual officeholder, is one with a focus and outlook to benefit the public.
Utah Code §20A-9-203. Declarations of candidacy – Municipal general elections.
Utah Code §20A-9-404. Municipal primary elections.
St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic contributed to this report.
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