By Rich Pollack
Residents planning to run for elected office in most March 2022 municipal elections will discover that paperwork is required to be filed earlier than in years past — thanks in part to a request from the county’s supervisor of elections.
In a letter to clerks and elected leaders in most municipalities, Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Wendy Sartory Link asked that each entity that hasn’t already done so adjust its qualifying period so it ends prior to the 95th day before the March 8 election in order for her office to get ballots out in time.
As a result, cities and towns holding elections will close the qualifying period before the last week in November.
Sartory Link said that her office needs time to create and print ballots as well as code the election in order to meet statutory requirements, such as ensuring that military and overseas ballots are mailed 45 days before the election.
It’s important, she said, for all municipalities to meet the qualifying period deadline.
“Our system does not allow us to ‘close’ or move forward one city at a time, so any delay by one municipality results in our inability to move forward with others,” she said. “I can’t do it for anybody until I do it for everybody.”
To meet the Friday, Dec. 3, deadline, most municipalities in coastal South Palm Beach County have already moved up their qualifying periods.
In Highland Beach, for example, the qualifying period will begin on the second Tuesday in November, Nov. 9, and end on the fourth Tuesday, Nov. 23. That is two weeks earlier than last year. Qualifying periods in Briny Breezes and South Palm Beach are also Nov. 9-23.
In Ocean Ridge, qualifying this year will begin on Nov. 1 and end on Nov. 12. In Manalapan qualifying is Nov. 2-16, and in Lantana it’s Nov. 8-19.
There are no scheduled March elections in Gulf Stream, Boca Raton and Delray Beach.