BERRYVILLE — Residents will go to the polls on Tuesday for a special election to fill two Berryville Town Council seats.
The two incumbents are running unopposed.
Erecka Gibson is seeking to continue as the council’s recorder, a position similar to vice mayor. Grant Mazzarino is seeking to retain his seat as the council’s Ward 3 representative.
Gibson previously represented Ward 3 on the council. Last summer, council members chose Gibson to be the new recorder after Jay Arnold was elected mayor. He had been recorder since 2006.
The council then appointed Mazzarino to fill the Ward 3 vacancy until a special election could be held.
Gibson is director of treasury & risk management accounting for The George Washington University. Mazzarino is an analyst for the federal government.
Records show Berryville currently has 3,327 registered voters. All vote at the same precinct — the Clarke County Public Schools’ administrative building at 317 W. Main St. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Under town rules, all voters in municipal elections can cast votes for all council seats. That means voters in Wards 1, 2 and 4 can select someone to fill the Ward 3 seat alongside voters who live in that ward.
Elections in which only town council seats are filled usually receive voter turnout of 25% to 30%, according to Clarke County Elections Director and Voter Registrar Barbara Bosserman.
If elected, Gibson will fill the remainder of Arnold’s unexpired recorder term, which ends on June 30, 2022. Mazzarino will fill the remainder of Gibson’s unexpired Ward 3 term, which ends on June 30, 2024.
Earlier this year, the Virginia General Assembly adopted legislation moving all May local elections across Virginia to November alongside federal and state races. Supporters said the move will reduce costs for holding elections.
How the change will affect Berryville elections and the terms of local officials is not yet determined.
The town’s charter stipulates that elections for mayor, recorder and council members are to be held on the first Tuesday in May of each even-numbered year. But different seats are up for grabs in different election cycles. Elected officials take their four-year seats on the following July 1.
Berryville is one of approximately 100 towns and 16 cities statewide that hold May elections. Boyce and Clarke County hold theirs in November.
In February, the council sent lawmakers a letter in opposition to the date change. The letter stated that moving local elections to November could cause them to be overshadowed by federal and state contests and politics.