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Registration, Nominations & Elections
Section 33-23 Voters
Every person who at the time of a Town election resides within the corporate limits of the Town, is qualified to vote in Prince George's County, Maryland, and is registered to vote with the Board of Election Supervisors for Prince George's County, Maryland, (hereinafter the County Board of Elections or County Board) shall be deemed registered and qualified to vote in that Town election. (Ch. Res. No. 1, August 21, 1963, sec. 23; Res. No. 4, April 8, 1982; Res. No. 1, May 19, 1989.)

Section 33-23 (A) Absentee Balloting
Any qualified voter registered to vote in the elections of the Town of Forest Heights is entitled to vote in the municipal election by absentee ballot. The following persons may vote as an absentee voter under this Section:

(a) Any qualified voter registered to vote who may be absent from the Town of Forest Heights on any election day.

(b) Any qualified voter registered to vote, whose physical disability or confinement in or restriction to an institution prevents or will prevent him from being present and personally voting at the polls on any election day.

(c) Absentee ballots must be received no later than the close of the polls on election day.

A qualified voter desiring to vote in any election by absentee ballot shall make an application in writing to the Board for an absentee ballot. The application must be received no later than 7 days before the election. The application shall contain an affidavit, which need not be under oath, but which shall set forth the information required under this Section, under penalty of perjury. The application shall contain the following information:

(a) The voter's name and residence address;

(b) That the person is a qualified voter at the residence given;

(c) If the person voted at the preceding election, the residence address from which he voted; and

(d) That the voter expects in good faith to be unable to vote in person for the reasons set forth above in (a) or (b). (Res. No. 1, April 8, 1982.)

Section 33-24 Board of Elections
There shall be a Board of Elections (hereinafter, the Town Board of Elections, Town Board, or Board where appropriate), consisting of three members who shall be appointed by the Mayor with the approval of the Council on or before the first Monday in March in every odd numbered year. The terms of members of the Town Board of Elections shall begin on the first Monday in March in the year in which they are appointed and shall run for two years. Members of the Town Board of Elections shall be qualified voters of the Town. A person is eligible to serve as a member of the Board if the person:

a. Is a qualified voter of the Town.

b. Does not hold and is not a candidate for elective office in the Town during his term of office.

c. Is not the spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter of a person who holds or is a candidate for elective office in the Town during his term of office.

d. Is able to read and interpret all pertinent election laws.

The board shall appoint one of its members as Chairman. Vacancies on the board shall be filled by the Mayor with the approval of the Council for the remainder of the unexpired term. The compensation shall be determined by the Council. (Ch. Res. No. 1, August 21, 1963, sec. 24; Res. No. 7, 1982; Res. No. 1, May 19, 1989.)

Section 33-25 Same: Removal
Any member of the Town Board of Elections may be removed for good cause by the Council. Before removal, the member of the Town Board of Elections to be removed shall be given a written copy of the charges against him and shall have a public hearing on them before the Council if he so requests within ten days after receiving the written copy of the charges against him. (Ch. Res. No. 1, August 21, 1963, sec. 25; Res. No. 1, May 19, 1989.)

Section 33-26 Same: Duties
The Town Board of Elections shall, before each town election, obtain from the County Board of Elections a list of registered voters of Prince George's County, Maryland, who reside in the Town and check the accuracy of that list with respect to Town residency and ward residency of voters. The Town Board of Elections shall recommend any corrections required to the County Board of Elections. The Town Board shall be in charge of all of the procedures required for nomination and shall conduct all Town elections. The board may appoint election clerks or employees to assist it in any of its duties. The Town Board of Elections shall utilize the provisions of the election laws contained in Article 33 of the Annotated Code of Maryland (1957 Edition, as amended) concerning the casting and counting of ballots and the general election procedures in so far as these provisions are applicable to elections in the Town of Forest Heights and are consistent with the provisions of this Charter. (Ch. Res. No. 1, August 21, 1963, sec. 26; Res. No. 1, May 19, 1989; Res. No. 1, May 9, 1991.)

Section 33-27 Notices
The Town Board of Elections shall give at least two weeks notice of every election by an advertisement published in the "Forest Heights News," the town newsletter, or in at least one newspaper of general circulation in the Town and by posting a notice thereof in some public place or places in the Town. Notice of election shall contain the purpose of the election including a description of any questions for referendum. Provided, however, that notice for runoff elections authorized in Section 33–36 need only be within one week of the election date. (Ch. Res. No. 1, August 21, 1963, sec. 27; Res. No. 1, May 19, 1989.)

Section 33-28 Time & Place of Registration
(a) The time and place of registration of persons who qualify for voting in a town election in accordance with Section 23 herein shall be as set forth in Section 3–1 et. seq. Article 33 of the Annotated Code of Maryland (1957 Edition, as amended).

(b) No person shall be entitled to vote in a Town election unless he is registered in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 23 herein. Provided, however, in the Town election to be held in May, 1989, residents of the Town who have registered to vote only with the Town Board of Elections shall also be entitled to vote in accord with Town registration and voting requirements in force at the date of this Charter Amendment Resolution.

(c) All other qualifications and procedures with respect to registration of voters of the Town shall be as set forth in Sections 3–1 et. seq. of Article 33 of the Annotated Code of Maryland (1957 Edition as amended).

(d) Ward registration. It shall be the duty of the Town Board of Elections to furnish the County Board of Elections with all information necessary to designate registered voters of the Town as to the respective wards in the Town in which they reside.

(e) Council powers. The Mayor and Town Council shall adopt, by ordinance, provisions concerning the eligibility of residents of the Town to vote in Town elections which are consistent with the authority provided by Article 33 of the Annotated Code of Maryland (1957 Edition as amended) including Section 3–2(d) thereof concerning universal registration. (Ch. Res. No. 1, August 21, 1963, sec. 28; Res. No. 5, April 8, 1982; Res. No. 1, May 19, 1989.)

Section 33-29 Appeals
If any person shall feel aggrieved by any action of the Town Board of Elections, such person may appeal to the Council by giving notice in writing to the Town Clerk within fifteen (15) days of the action taken by the Town Board of Elections. Any decision or action of the Council upon such appeals may be appealed to the Circuit Court for Prince George's County within thirty days of the decision or action of the Council. (Ch. Res. No. 1, August 21, 1963, sec. 29; Res. No. 1, May 19, 1989.)

Section 33-30 Election Wards
For the purpose of the elections, the Town of Forest Heights shall be divided into three wards. The limits and boundaries of each ward shall be as follows:

(1) First Ward — The First Ward shall comprise that part of the Town east of the Indian Head Highway (Maryland State Route 210) and north of Quade Street, including those residences on the north side of Quade Street.

(2) Second Ward — The Second Ward shall comprise that part of the Town east of the Indian Head Highway (Maryland State Route 210) and south of Quade Street, including those residences on the south side of Quade Street; and that part of the Town west of the Indian Head Highway (Maryland State Route 210); east of Black Hawk Drive including those residences on the east side of Black Hawk Drive and including those residences on Cree Drive that are east of Black Hawk Drive if that Drive were extended to the southern limits of the Town; east of Woodland Drive between Black Hawk Drive and Mohican Drive including those residences on the east side of Woodland Drive; and north of Mohican Drive including those residences on the north side of Mohican Drive and including those residences on Huron Drive that arc north of Mohican Drive if that Drive were extended to the western limits of the Town.

(3) Third Ward — The third Ward shall comprise that part of the Town southwest of the boundary of the Second Ward, that is the part of the Town west of Black Hawk Drive including those residences on the west side of Black Hawk Drive and those residences on Cree Drive that are west of Black Hawk Drive if that Drive were extended to the southern limits of the Town: west of Woodland Drive between Black Hawk Drive and Mohican Drive including those residences of the west side of Woodland Drive; and south of Mohican Drive including those residences on the south side of Mohican Drive and including those residences on Huron Drive that are south of Mohican Drive it [if] that Drive were extended to the western limits of the Town. (Ch. Res. No. 1, August 21, 1963, sec. 30.)

Section 33-31 Nominations
Persons may be nominated for elective office in the Town by filing a certificate of nomination with the Town Clerk on or before the first Wednesday in February preceding the Town election. Such certificate shall state (1) the office for which the person is seeking, (2) the name and signature of the candidate, (3) the ward in which the person resides, (4) a statement that he meets the qualifications for the office as contained in this charter. No person shall file for nomination to more than one elective Town public office or hold more than one elective Town public office at any one time. The Town Board of Elections shall review each certificate of nomination and shall certify that the candidate meets the qualifications contained in this Charter. Any certificate of a candidate, that in the Board's judgment does not meet the stated qualifications, shall be returned to the candidate with the reasons for the return stated thereon.

In the case of special elections and other elections not held on the second Wednesday of March, the Town Board of Elections may require the filing of a certificate of nomination and statement prior to the election provided that the requirement of the need to file such information with the Town Clerk is announced at least five business days prior to the cutoff for filing and such filing must be scheduled at least five business days prior to the election in question. Certificates for nomination are not required in the case of a run-off election held as a result of a tie in an election. (Ch. Res. No. 1, August 21, 196, sec. 31; Res. No. 1, May 19, 1989; Res. No. 28, January 19, 2007; Ch. Res. No. 26, March 9, 2007)

Section 33-32 Elections of Mayor
On the second Wednesday of May in 2007, and on the second Wednesday of March 2009 and every two years thereafter, one person shall be elected at large to serve as Mayor for a two year term. (Ch. Res. No. 8, Nov. 16, 2005; Ch. Res. No. 23, March 9, 2007.)

Section 33-33 Election of Councilmen
On the second Wednesday of March in 2007 and every two years thereafter, one person from each Ward shall be elected by the qualified voters of his Ward to serve as Councilman for a two year term.

On the second Wednesday of March in 2008 and every two years thereafter, one person from each Ward shall be elected by the qualified voters of his Ward to serve as Councilman for a two year term. (Ch. Res. No. 9, Nov. 16, 2005; Ch. Res. No. 24, March 9, 2007.)

Section 33-34 Conduct of Elections
(a) Non-partisan. All municipal elections shall be conducted on a non-partisan basis, and no ballot shall carry any party affiliation.

(b) Voting places and ballots. It shall be the duty of the Town Board of Elections to provide for each special and general election a suitable place or places for voting and suitable ballot boxes and ballots and/or voting machines. The ballots and/or voting machines shall show the name of each candidate nominated for elective office in accordance with the provisions of this Charter, arranged in alphabetical order by office or by Wards for Councilmen. If ballots are used, the Board shall prepare a separate ballot for each Ward containing the names of the candidates for Mayor and for Councilman from that particular Ward. Write-in votes shall be permitted.

(c) Hours. The Town Board of Elections shall keep the polls opened from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on election days, or for longer hours if the Mayor and Council require it. (Ch. Res. No. 1, August 21, 1963, sec. 34; Res. No. 1, May 19, 1989.)

Section 33-35 Special Elections
All special Town elections shall be conducted by the Town Board of Elections in the same manner and with the same personnel, as far as practicable, as regular Town elections.

In the case of a vacancy in the office of Mayor or Councilman which has not been filled by the Council within 60 days of the seat becoming vacant by any reason, or at any time at the request of a majority of the Council members holding office, the Town Board of Elections shall conduct a special election to fill the vacant seat. The special election shall be held as soon as practical after the expiration of the sixty day period, but at least five business days shall pass subsequent to the announcement of the election and the cut-off for the submission of nominations, and nominations must be announced at least five business days prior to the election. The Town Clerk shall assist the election Board in organizing the election. The Town Council shall amend the Town budget to cover any expenses not otherwise appropriated for the conduct of the special election. (Ch. Res. No. 1, August 21, 1963, sec. 35; Res. No. 1, May 19, 1989; Ch. Res. No. 27, March 9, 2007.)

Section 33-36 Vote Count
Immediately after the closing of the polls, the Board of Registrations and Elections shall determine the vote cast for each candidate or question and shall certify the results of the election to the Town Clerk who shall record the results in the minutes of the Council. The candidate for Mayor with the highest number of votes in the general election shall be declared elected as Mayor. The candidate for Councilman in each ward with the highest number of votes in the general election shall be declared elected as Councilman. In case of a tie vote, the Mayor and Council shall order and provide for a run-off election between the tied candidates within twenty-one (21) days thereafter. (Ch. Res. No. 1, August 21, 1963, sec. 36.)

Section 33-37 Preservation of Ballots
All ballots and records used in any Town election shall be preserved for at least six months from the date of the election. (Ch. Res. No. 1, August 21, 1963, sec. 37.)

Section 33-38 Regulation & Control
The Council shall have the power to provide by ordinance in every respect not covered by the provisions of this Charter for the conduct of registration, nomination, and Town elections and for the prevention of fraud in connection therewith, and for a recount of ballots in case of doubt or fraud. (Ch. Res. No. 1, August 21, 1963, sec. 38.)

Section 33-39 Penalties
Any person who

(1) fails to perform any duty required of him under the provisions of this subtitle or any ordinances passed thereunder,

(2) in any manner willfully or corruptly violates any of the provisions of this subtitle or any ordinances passed thereunder, or

(3) willfully or corruptly does anything which will or will tend to affect fraudulently any registration, nomination, or Town election,

shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor. Any officer or employee of the Town government who is convicted of a misdemeanor under the provisions of this section shall immediately upon conviction thereof ease to hold such office or employment. (Ch. Res. No. 1, August 21, 1963, sec. 39. )