Middletown will hold a special election in February to fill the seat of former Commissioner Larry Bussard, with a convention to nominate candidates to be held in early January.
The town’s commissioners voted 4-0 Monday night to approve a schedule with a nominating convention on Jan. 4, 2021, and an election on Feb. 22.
Bussard served 18 years as a commissioner before resigning in September, citing family health issues.
The winner will serve out the remainder of his term, which ends in April 2022.
The town forwarded two scenarios, with elections scheduled for January or in February, to the county’s Board of Elections, Town Administrator Drew Bowen said Monday.
The board recommended the February date in order to provide more time for voters to register if they’ve moved to the town, he said.
Questions remain about how to provide appropriate social distancing for in-person voting.
The town is looking at options including renting a hall from the local fire company in order to provide a larger space for voting than the town’s municipal center, Bowen said.
They expect to see lots of absentee ballots, which voters can get without providing a reason, Bowen said.
The town held an all vote-by-mail election for the burgess and two commissioners’ seats in April, which saw dramatically higher turnout than previous elections.
That election saw 1,104 votes out of 3,608 registered voters, compared to 359 votes in 2018.