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Charlotte Mayor: City Could Hold Some Elections In 2021, Some in 2022

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Erin Keever / WFAE
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Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said Monday the city should consider whether to hold elections for mayor and the four at-large council seats this fall as scheduled while delaying the district races until 2022. She referred the issue to the council's budget and effectiveness committee.

The problem is that the U.S. Census Bureau is about six months late releasing detailed population data needed to draw new districts. That means that local governments like the city of Charlotte and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board won’t have time to draw new districts that are more or less equal in population.

The North Carolina House approved a bill last week that would require local governments with district elections to hold their primaries in March, with a general election in March or April.

The bill would allow the city to hold elections for non-district races like mayor on the usual schedule.

Council member Ed Driggs said at the City Council meeting Monday that a committee will review the idea this week.

"If the intention was to try and have those at-large elections this year, that timeline is already quite compressed," Driggs said. "So we would need to get busy."

The bill requires CMS to hold its district races in November 2022, a year late. Those races are nonpartisan so there’s no primary. The change would mean six district representatives who were elected to four-year terms would serve five years.

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Steve Harrison is WFAE's politics and government reporter. Prior to joining WFAE, Steve worked at the Charlotte Observer, where he started on the business desk, then covered politics extensively as the Observer’s lead city government reporter. Steve also spent 10 years with the Miami Herald. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, the Sporting News and Sports Illustrated.