Madison County candidate vying for two spots in November election
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - With early voting approaching, Madison County is encountering an election scenario they have never seen before. The unusual circumstance had multiple state agencies checking the rule books, and it was ultimately determined that “it is not forbidden.”
Jon Stevens will appear on November ballots as the only candidate for Justice of the Peace, but he has also put himself forward as a write-in candidate for County Commissioner Precinct 1.
When the Texas Secretary of State’s office looked into the legality of Stevens’ situation at the request of Madison County officials, they found the move to be confusing but completely legal.
According to the Secretary of State, a person cannot apply to appear on a ballot twice. Since Stevens applied to be on the March primary ballot in his race for Justice of the Peace and won the March Republican primary, he will appear on November ballots uncontested for Justice of the Peace. This was his only application, the issue regulated by law.
In the County Commissioner Precinct 1 race, Stevens only submitted a declaration to appear on the November ballot as a write-in candidate. Legally, that declaration is not considered an application.
Another issue: a person cannot appear on a ballot twice. Again, Stevens’ declaration works in his favor. If a person decides to choose Stevens as a write-in option, technically putting Stevens’s name on the ballot twice, their submission is only considered a voter record, not an appearance on the ballot.
Stevens says he would resign from his post as Justice of the Peace if he were to be elected to the Commissioners Court.
“My priority is what it has been since I took office eight years ago as Justice of the Peace… continue to serve the people of Madison County and make sure I am accessible to help them. If they want to write me in and have me serve as their Commissioner, I will. If they would prefer I continue serving as their JP, I will do that. Either way, I want to serve,” Stevens told KBTX.
Currently, Republican Kenneth Starr is the only name officially on the ballot in the County Commissioner Precinct 1 race. Current interim commissioner Billy McNutt has also put himself forward as a write-in candidate.
The last day to register to vote in November’s election is Tuesday, October 11. Learn more about how to register at VoteTexas.org.
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