New law postponing certain municipal elections in North Carolina goes into effect

Politics

(File – Nexstar)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WAVY) — A new legislation delaying municipal elections in North Carolina until 2022 became law Monday.

Under the new legislation, Session Law 2021-56, more than 30 municipalities across North Carolina, including Ahoskie, Edenton, and Raleigh among others, will delay elections which were originally scheduled for later in 2021.

This means, under the new legislation, the terms of mayors and council members in the affected municipalities will be extended until their successors are elected next year.

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It will allow the municipalities to keep scheduled elections in 2021 if they notify the county board of elections by July 19, 2021.

Officials say the delay will allow the municipalities to consider “revising their electoral districts” based on the new population numbers from the recent U.S. Census.

The law also removes the prohibition on voter registration between the first and second primaries for 2022. This means North Carolina voters who register after the date of the first primary may vote in the second primary.

Voters will not be allowed to change their party affiliation between the first and second primary.

Candidate filing periods for the delayed elections will be held either in December 2021 or January 2022, depending on the redrawing of its districts for each municipality.

If a municipality provides revised districts by November 17, the filing period for the 2022 elections will begin at noon December 6, 2021, and end at noon December 17, 2021.

However, if a municipality cannot adopt a new redistricting plan by November 17, the county board of elections can delay the filing period for that municipality to noon January 3, 2022, through noon January 7, 2022.

Cities and towns (county) delaying municipal elections until 2022 include:

  • Town of Ahoskie (Hertford)
  • Town of Cary (Chatham, Wake)
  • City of Charlotte (Mecklenburg)
  • City of Clinton (Sampson)
  • Town of Edenton (Chowan)
  • City of Elizabeth City (Camden, Pasquotank)
  • Town of Enfield (Halifax)
  • Town of Erwin (Harnett)
  • City of Fayetteville (Cumberland)
  • City of Greensboro (Guilford)
  • City of Greenville (Pitt)
  • City of Henderson (Vance)
  • City of Hickory (Burke, Catawba)
  • City of Jacksonville (Onslow)
  • City of Kings Mountain (Cleveland, Gaston)
  • City of Laurinburg (Scotland)
  • City of Lexington (Davidson)
  • Town of Long View (Burke, Catawba)
  • City of Lumberton (Robeson)
  • Town of Mooresville (Iredell)
  • Town of Mount Olive (Duplin, Wayne)
  • City of New Bern (Craven)
  • Town of Plymouth (Washington)
  • Town of Princeville (Edgecombe)
  • City of Raleigh (Wake, Durham)
  • City of Roanoke Rapids (Halifax)
  • City of Rocky Mount (Edgecombe, Nash)
  • City of Sanford (Lee)
  • Town of Siler City (Chatham)
  • Town of Smithfield (Johnston)
  • Town of St. Pauls (Robeson)
  • City of Statesville (Iredell)
  • Town of Tarboro (Edgecombe)
  • City of Whiteville (Columbus)
  • City of Wilson (Wilson)

Municipal elections in Raleigh will now be held in even-numbered years in the future. The city would need to adopt new electoral districts by March 31, 2022.

Raleigh’s 2022 municipal election will be held on November 8, 2022. Candidate filing begins at noon on July 1, 2022, and ends at noon on July 15, 2022.

Elections in these municipalities are rescheduled accordingly:

Partisan primary and election method:

  • Primary on March 8, 2022
  • No second primary in 2022
  • General election on April 26, 2022, or May 17, 2022 if a federal second primary is held
  • Affected municipalities:
    • Charlotte (Mecklenburg)
    • Sanford (Lee)

Nonpartisan primary and election method:

  • Primary on March 8, 2022
  • General election on April 26, 2022, or May 17, 2022 if a federal second primary is held
  • Affected municipalities:
    • Fayetteville (Cumberland)
    • Greensboro (Guilford)
    • Hickory (Burke, Catawba)
    • Mooresville (Iredell)

Nonpartisan plurality method:

  • General election on March 8, 2022
  • Affected municipalities:
    • Ahoskie (Hertford)
    • Clinton (Sampson)
    • Edenton (Chowan)
    • Enfield (Halifax)
    • Greenville (Pitt)
    • Jacksonville (Onslow)
    • Kings Mountain (Cleveland, Gaston)
    • Laurinburg (Scotland)
    • Lexington (Davidson)
    • Long View (Burke, Catawba)
    • Lumberton (Robeson)
    • Mount Olive (Duplin/Wayne)
    • Plymouth (Washington)
    • Princeville (Edgecombe)
    • Roanoke Rapids (Halifax)
    • Siler City (Chatham)
    • Smithfield (Johnston)
    • St. Pauls (Robeson)
    • Tarboro (Edgecombe)
    • Whiteville (Columbus)
    • Wilson (Wilson)

Election and runoff method:

  • Election on March 8, 2022
  • Runoff on April 26, 2022, or May 17, 2022 if a federal second primary is held
  • Affected municipalities:
    • Cary (Chatham, Wake)
    • Elizabeth City (Camden, Pasquotank)
    • Erwin (Harnett)
    • Henderson (Vance)
    • New Bern (Craven)
    • Rocky Mount (Edgecombe, Nash)
    • Statesville (Iredell)

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