Monday, August 15, 2022

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Legislature may delay elections in cities with wards, districts; Alamance cities, towns not affected

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None of the communities in Alamance County would be affected by a bill that the state legislature passed last week to postpone some of this year’s municipal elections until 2022 due to the belated release of results from the last federal Census.

The proposed legislation, which was ratified last Tuesday but has yet to obtain the governor’s signature, would only apply to 36 cities and towns that have at least one municipal office chosen by either district or ward. This bill is intended to give these communities more time to obtain the population data they’ll need to redraw their electoral zones ahead of their next local elections.

At last check, the U.S. Census Bureau had announced that it may be as late as mid August before the results of last year’s decadal headcount are available to all of North Carolina municipalities. As a result, some cities and towns may not have their new population figures in hand before July 2 – when the state plans to kick off a two week registration period for candidates in most of its incorporated communities.

Under the proposed legislation, each affected community would hold candidate registration in either December or January depending on how long it takes them to rejigger their electoral districts. These 36 communities would go on to hold their general elections on March 8 – or on April 26 in the case of those that conduct primaries before their municipal votes.

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In either case, these potential changes won’t have any effect on the vast majority of North Carolina’s municipalities, which lack any provisions for elections by either districts or wards.

These communities, which include all of the cities and towns in Alamance County, will still have candidate registration as originally scheduled – from 12:00 noon on Friday, July 2 until the same time on Friday, July 16.

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