IL town vote set for March 27

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Ballot to resolve 6 separate issues

By Reece Murphy

The Indian Land incorporation vote will be held March 27.
News of the special election date came Friday, Jan. 26, more than two years after Voters for a Town of Indian Land rolled out its incorporation campaign.
The three Indian Land incorporation election commissioners agreed to have county elections officials organize the vote for Tuesday, March 27, instead of a Saturday, April 7, date considered earlier in the week.
Unlike other elections, state law does not specify when incorporation elections must be held, other than saying they must happen no less than 20 days and no more than 90 days after appointment of the election commissioners.
“We wanted as many people to vote as possible since most people are off work on Saturday,” Commissioner Melvin Threatt said of the earlier Saturday consideration. “The reason I picked Tuesday was because… everybody is used to voting on Tuesday anyway.
“After all the work… it’s good to have a date for the vote,” he said. “People are really interested, more than I thought they would be even.”
County Elections Director Mary Ann Hudson said she and her staff began working on the election Friday, starting with getting all the names of eligible voters to the state elections office.
There are more than 22,500 eligible voters in the proposed incorporation area, which consists of most of the Lancaster County Panhandle outside of incorporated Van Wyck.
Another important facet is getting ready for absentee voting and getting information out to the public about the election.
“People will be able to call in for absentee ballot applications now. We plan to start absentee voting on Feb. 26,” Hudson said.
“The database has to be done before we get the ballots ready, but at least we can have them ready to mail out to people who already have their applications in.
“Also, anybody who wants to vote has to be registered by Feb. 27 to be eligible,” she said.
The ballot
As in the Van Wyck incorporation election last August, voters will be asked to decide several issues. The ballot will include six items:
• A vote on incorporation itself
• The name of the municipality
• Its form of government
• The method of electing officials
• Whether those elections will be partisan or nonpartisan
• Mayor and council member terms in office
More details on specifics of each of those questions will be available from the county elections office and published in Carolina Gateway in coming weeks.
Only Panhandle residents outside the Van Wyck town limits are eligible to vote. The proposed boundary runs from the northern tip to S.C. 5 south of Van Wyck, then along U.S. 521 to East North Corner Road.
For information on applying for an absentee ballot or registering to vote, contact the Lancaster County elections office at 101 N. Main St., Lancaster, or call (803) 285-2969.

Contact reporter Reece Murphy at (803) 283-1151 or follow on Twitter @ReeceTLN.