MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Youwant to meet some busy people? Meet the folks at the Shelby CountyElection Commission.
They’re going tobe busy people as they look over the signatures on petitions for all those whowant to be candidates in the city election.
They havepetitions from 153 people. So their offices look like it was hit by a paperworkvolcano.
There’s no lava, nomolten hot magma, but man have they got some signatures to check out.
According toShelby County Elections Administrator Linda Phillips, “The typical candidatewould bring in a petition with 50 to 75 signatures. It generally takes four tosix hours to check one petition.”
Linda Phillipshas told Shelby County Commissioners, reporters, anybody who will listen toher, really -she needs more help.
When things likechecking petition signatures hit the office, everybody digs in, everybody theycan find anyway.
“We do havea very rigorous audit program,” she says. “We will audit all ofthese. We double check to make sure they’re perfect. We have to make sure theballot name is exactly as we have it.”
Sometimes thepeople who sign petitions don’t live in Shelby County. They are tossed out.
Sometimes thepeople who run for office aren’t legally qualified. They are tossed out.
It has to be donethis way.
“It’scritical,” Phillips says. ” it’s absolutely critical.”
They will end upchanging the list of candidates, especially those who pulled petitions forseveral offices.
“You canonly run for one office,” she says, “… so whichever petition theyturned in, they made a decision when they turned it in.”
The electioncommission will certify the candidates next Thursday. Thursday is also thedeadline day for those who change their minds and don’t want to run for office.