BERLIN – A fifth candidate has filed to run for mayor in this year’s municipal election.
Ron Bireley, a former town finance director who also served as mayor from 1988-1992 and 1995-1996, joined a growing list of candidates for the fall election. Candidates for mayor now include Bireley, Mayor Gee Williams, Councilman Zack Tyndall, Jennifer Allen and Bill Todd.
As the list of candidates continues to grow with weeks to go until the Sept. 4 filing deadline, town staff say questions are coming in regarding a forum. The town, however, cannot hold one.
“The town will not/does not/can not hold candidate forums, debates, or any other activity intended to inform the voters of candidates’ positions on topics,” Deputy Town Administrator Mary Bohlen said. “Getting that information out is the responsibility of the candidates or other interested parties.”
The town election will take place Tuesday, Oct. 6. Voting will be held for the office of mayor as well as the District 2, District 3 and at-large town council seats. In addition to the five candidates for mayor, candidates Jay Knerr and Tony Weeg have filed for the at-large seat while Jack Orris has filed for the District 2 seat.
The candidate filing deadline is Sept. 4, as is the voter registration deadline. Town voters must be registered with the Worcester County Board of Elections as Berlin does not conduct a separate registration. To register, contact the board at 410-632-1320.
Because of COVID-19, absentee voting is being encouraged in this year’s election. Applications to vote absentee in Berlin’s municipal election will be available on Sept. 3, 2020, and will be accepted starting on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. The deadline for applications to be received by mail is Tuesday, Sept. 29 and the deadline for applications returned in-person is Friday, Oct. 2.
Though the deadline for write-in candidates isn’t until Sept. 29, those candidates will not appear on the ballot.
The election will be held Oct. 6 with polling places open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Because of ongoing COVID-19 concerns, the Berlin Board of Elections Supervisors assures voters that physical distancing and other precautions will be in place on election day. For more information on the town election, contact Bohlen at 410-641-4314 or visit the town’s website, berlinmd.gov.