Uncontested Seats in Town Election May Dampen Voter Turnout

Election seasons are typically marked by a deluge of campaign signs and door to door appeals from political hopefuls. However, the modern paradigm of our democratic tradition is markedly absent from Berryville despite the fact that tomorrow is election day. This election cycle has, for the most part, eluded the general public.  Those that are aware would be hard pressed to enumerate the political seats that will be on the ballot. The primary culprit for this quiet election is an entirely uncontested race.

In the May 1st town election there are three offices on the ballot and all three have a single candidate listed. First on the list is our current Mayor Wilson Kirby. Mayor Kirby announced his decision to run for a second term and no challengers emerged. The other two positions are town council seats.  Ward One Council Member, Lawrence Russell III, is not seeking reelection which created a vacancy that Planning Commission Chair, Doug Schaffer is seeking to fill. The third decision on the ballot will be in Ward Three where current council member, Mary Daniel will also be running for reelection in an uncontested race.

Mayor Wilson Kirby took a few moments at this month’s town council meeting to remind voters that despite the limited selection, it is still important for citizens to vote, “I know that the three races are really not races at all since they are uncontested, but I would encourage everyone to go out and vote. The fact that they are uncontested should not keep people from voting. It is a civic duty in our country to exercise the right to vote, so I would encourage every single registered voter in our town to go out and cast their vote.”

Town elections will be held tomorrow,  Tuesday, May 1. Registered voters in the Town of Berryville will cast their votes at Grace Episcopal Parish Hall at 110 N. Church Street. The polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.