Durham County Board of Elections Director Mike Ashe wore a U.S. flag necktie to work Monday.
"We're open for business," he said. "We're doing great. We've got plenty of precinct officials, plenty of ballots ... and enough money to do our job."
That job, by the way, does not include enforcing rules on campaign signs. That comes under the city-county planning department, which decrees that they can't go out or up until 45 days before the election.
That would be late August this time around. Here are some more election rules, as Ashe explained them to Bull's Eye this morning:
- On the ballot, candidates are listed in alphabetical order. In general elections, it's regular old ABCD etc. In primaries, though, the starting point moves through the alphabet from one election to the next. This year, the order is CDEF ... XYZAB such that a candidate named "Charlie" would be listed ahead of "Abel" and "Baker."
- Under elections law, every candidate must have an organization to receive and spend money, and file an organizational report with the Board of Elections. Organizations may be created ahead of filing — most office-holders keep them active between elections — but have to be created and reported within 10 days of filing.
- The first financial reports from 2009 candidates are due Sept. 1; reports are posted at the county Board of Elections Web site.
- To file the required financial reports, a candidate or campaign treasurer has to take a 45-minute training course, which can be done online or at the state elections office in Raleigh.
- Before 2006, candidates were free to spend leftover campaign funds any way they liked — say, on fishing boats or new houses. Now, the law spells out what's a legitimate use and what's not.