Three of Mingo Counties five municipalities will be conducting elections for all elected positions within their respective town governments this summer. The candidate filing period is currently underway and will remain open until the end of January for anyone wishing to run for these positions.
In Gilbert, Matewan and Williamson the three mayoral seats are up for grabs. Gilbert and Matewan each have five at-large council and town recorder positions that will be decided in the general elections in June. Williamson has four council members which represent specific wards or sections of the city. This, plus the addition of a primary election, makes the Williamson election cycle more complicated than that of the other towns.
According to an election calendar of events sent out by the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, the filing period ends Saturday, Jan. 30, with the general election to be held on Tuesday, June 8. These dates will apply all three Mingo County municipalities having elections this year. The early voting period will from Wednesday, May 26, through Saturday, June 5. Each town will also accept absentee ballots.
In addition, the City of Williamson will also conduct a primary election which will be held on Tuesday, April 13. Early voting for the primary election will be from Wednesday, March 31, through Saturday, April 10.
“Class IV towns have the option to conduct their early voting periods by mail which works the same way as absentee ballots,” said West Virginia Secretary of State Field Representative Lee Dean. “Most of our small towns have very light voter turnout. This method allows residents time for early voting without the towns having the expense of paying two poll workers during the entire early voting period.”
Dean went of to say even if the Class IV towns use this option, they still must conduct in-person early on each of the two Saturdays (May 29 and June 5). This option will be available to the towns of Gilbert and Matewan as the city of Williamson falls with the Class III designation. Those towns have until Friday, Jan. 29, to notify the Secretary of State’s Office if they intend to use that option.
Absentee ballots will be mailed beginning on Friday, April 23 for the general election. For the Williamson primary, absentee ballots will be sent out starting Friday, Feb. 26.
Anyone wishing to run for political office in these three municipalities must obtain a one-page application from the town hall. Each application must be completed, notarized and returned to the town hall with the appropriate filing fees by Jan. 30. Filing fees are as follow:
Gilbert — Council, $25, Town Recorder, $50, and Mayor $100;
Matewan — $10 for all positions; and
Williamson — Council, $6, and Mayor, $48.
The Town of Delbarton held its municipal election in 2019 and Kermit conducted its election in 2020.