The bill lets them put elections off until spring 2022. Current elected officials would have their terms extended.
Some municipalities won't need to change anything, because they elect all officials citywide or because their districts are based on geography, not population. But for cities that do need changes, if they can't get the redraw done before the third business day before filing opens in the 2021 elections, they'd be able to delay municipal elections to 2022.
City councils would have to hold a public hearing before delaying elections, and the new election would typically be in March, on the same day as the 2022 primaries in state and federal elections.
From there, the schedule would depend on the city's system. Raleigh, for example, holds nonpartisan elections with a subsequent runoff, if needed. So, its elections would be in March, with any needed runoffs in May.
The prospect of May runoffs concerns some because turnout would likely be low, but the bill moved through the Senate Redistricting and Elections committee Wednesday with strong support.
The State Board of Elections asked for a few changes to deal with a potential software issue that would come from the new schedule, but lawmakers indicated those issues would be worked out and asked a board attorney to provide proposed new language.
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