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Town approves election changes

The Camp Verde Journal of Camp Verde, Arizona

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The Camp Verde Town Council has approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Yavapai County Recorder's Office for election services.

The way elections for members of the Camp Verde Town Council will operate has changed to follow new state rules.

Currently, the town uses mail-in ballots to hold primaries for council candidates in March followed by another mail-in vote for the general election in May.

Under the new rules, the town will have to consolidate council primaries and general elections with the state and federal elections in August and November, said Debbie Barber, Camp Verde Town Clerk.

According to the town clerk's office, the rules won't affect Camp Verde until 2016.

That means some members of the council, including Mayor Charlie German, will have their terms extended.

Council members who would have been up for election earlier will get several extra months on the council.

With the new changes to election law, no one who has been elected can have their term shortened, so communities will have to schedule their next elections to accommodate that requirement.

While previously, members who won the election were seated in June, now the winners will be seated in January following the November election, provided that the winners aren't already decided in the August primary.

This has no effect on the 2015 election set for residents to vote on the community's general plan.

However, the mail-in ballots will be a thing of the past, Barber said.

Voters will have to go to a polling place to cast a ballot. There's won't be precincts, Barber said.

Exactly how many voting centers there will be isn't known just yet, according to the clerk's office.

Councilman Bruce George said he thought the loss of mail-in ballots was terrible.

"We should have mail ballots," George said.

Barber said there would be some exceptions for people registered on the permanent early voter list.

The town can still hold votes on referendums and other local issues in March and May, Barber said, but it costs several thousand dollars.

The town does get a discounted rate for other election services, Barber said.

"The costs change every year but we do get a discounted rate," Barber said. "We do whatever we can to save costs."

Mark Lineberger can be reached at 567-3341 or email

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Original Publication Date: July 2, 2014

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