New Bill Would Delay Some NC City Elections To 2022

Industry News,

The delay in the release of 2020 census data that cities and others need to draw new election districts based on the latest population counts is impacting the 2021 election. New legislation, Senate Bill 722 - Revise Municipal Redistricting/Census has been introduced that would give cities and towns across the state the option of delaying this year's council elections if they need to draw new districts and can't get it done in time because of census delays.

Since the census data isn't expected in full until September, and municipal elections are currently scheduled for September, October, and November, depending on whether a city holds partisan primary elections, many localities won't be able to finalize their districts in time. SB 722 would allow them to 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.

SB 722 passed the Senate Redistricting and Senate Rules committees last week and was placed on the Senate’s floor calendar for this week.