WANTED: 84 hats to toss into electoral ring

By John L. Braese

The Enterprise

VALE ­­- School districts are looking. Cemetery districts are requesting. Fire districts are crying out. Road districts are pleading.

A total of 84 positions are up for election on May 16.

The election will seat individuals on boards governing millions of dollars in taxpayer money. In addition, the boards govern such issues employment practices, billing of the patrons, what roads go to the front of the line for repair and where a person will spend eternity.

The deadline for filing is 5 p.m. Thursday, March 16.

Candidates may pick up filing forms from the districts or from the county clerk’s office in Vale.

To file, candidates can file by declaration, pay a $10 filing fee or use a nominating petition.

Each candidate must fill out the declaration listing name, position wanted, address and a short biography.

Candidates then have a choice. They can either pay a $10 filing fee or grab a petition and have supporters sign the petition. The number of names needed depends on the position wanted.

“People run for these offices because they want to give back to the community and make it a better place to live,” said Deborah Delong, Malheur County clerk. “Serving on a board is a nice way to do it. The positions are voluntary and there is something for everybody in the kinds of districts.”

DeLong said her office attempts to make the process of qualifying to run for office as easy as possible.

“If you live in the district, you usually qualify,” she said. “It is simple to get on the ballot.”

DeLong is hoping at least two people file for each position. In the past, a few positions have no nominees with a person receiving two or three write-ins picking up the position. In other cases, persons receiving write-in votes didn’t in the district and couldn’t serve.

“When someone wants their name on the ballot, we check to make sure they meet the qualifications such as living in the district,” DeLong said. “Voters like to see names on the ballots and have a choice. We want to find people interested.”

For questions regarding getting your name on the ballot, contact DeLong at 541-473-5151 or by email at [email protected].

Have a news tip? Email new@malheurenterprise or call John L. Braese at 541-473-3377.