Fernandina Beach City Commission candidates off to a rocky start

Submitted by Susan Hardee Steger

City Hall Photo courtesy of Charlie Hutchins
City Hall
Photo courtesy of Charlie Hutchins

Even though there is still time for individuals to have their names on the ballot as candidates for the Fernandina Beach City Commission (October 7), candidates David B. Austin and Lynn Williams who showed an early interest in seeking the office, failed to qualify by petition and will be forced to pay a $360 qualifying fee.  This fee is avoided if the potential candidate obtains 88 signatures from Fernandina Beach registered voters.

A Nassau County Supervisor of Elections (NCSE)  “Municipal Candidate Petition Certification” form was delivered to City Clerk Pro Tem Kim Briley.  Information provided shows  David B. Austin  obtained 113 petitions, but 40 were deemed “not qualified electors.” Lynn Williams submitted by 100 petitions, but 17 were deemed “not qualified electors.”

According to Vicki Cannon, supervisor of elections, the petition requirements over the last few years are much tighter.   Election officials verify address, birthdays, voter eligibility, and if the petition form is not completed properly by the signer, the petition is excluded.  Cannon said that 4 – 5 of the petitions for both candidates were questionable and can be appealed, but even if approved those numbers are not enough for either candidate to obtain the correct number of petitions.

The Fernandina Observer has contacted both candidates for comments, but they are unavailable at this time.

September 27, 2013 10:20 a.m.