Clerk explains ballot; class plans a forum
With the wide-spread interest in Tuesday's primary election for Baldwin City mayor, city council and school board positions, there are a couple of items voters should be aware of.
Thursday there will be a candidate forum at 8 p.m. at Baker University's Harter Union. It is open to the public and questions will be asked by the audience. All candidates for the city positions have indicated they will attend, except two mayoral candidate Stan Krysztof and council candidate Carol Lanoue. Both have scheduling conflicts. Krysztof said Tuesday he's 70 percent sure he'll be there, but there's still a possibility he won't.
But possibly more important is that voters need to be aware of how to mark their ballots. Douglas County Clerk Patty Jaimes said there is confusion sometimes with primary elections and this is no exception.
"I think sometimes people get confused when it's said that the field will be trimmed to four," said Jaimes. "Then people think they can vote for four candidates."
That happens to be the case for Baldwin's two open positions for four-year seats on the council. Although there are six candidates and four will advance to the general election, voters can only choose two or fewer. Those instructions are on the ballot, but often people think they can vote for four candidates. If they do, their ballot will be thrown out.
"That's right," said Jaimes. "They really need to look at the directions and read them carefully."
There can also be confusion on the mayor's position and the one two-year council position that are up for grabs. There are four candidates for mayor and the top two vote getters from Tuesday's primary will advance. However, voters can only vote for one. If they vote for two, the ballot is invalid. With the city council slot, there are three candidates and two will advance. But, voters can only vote for one.
Candidates for mayor are Ken Hayes, Krysztof, Slade Dillon and Michael C. Green. Running for the two four-year council positions are George Rebman, Carol Taul, Ken Wagner, Lee Whaley, Carol Lanoue and George McCrary. For the two-year council positions are Eugene Nelson, Todd Cohen and Mike Magers. That is the order of the names listed on the ballot.
Baldwin City Clerk Peggy Nichols said there have been a few calls at City Hall regarding the election.
"Most of the questions are 'can we still register?' For the primary, it's too late," said Nichols. "But there's still time before the general election."
The general election will be April 3.
Thursday's candidate forum is being sponsored by the State and Local Government class at Baker. It will be moderated by two Baker students, Brooke Balentine and Rachel McGuire, who will also be aided by professors. The union is located on Dearborn Street, between Sixth and Eighth streets.