Bill Summary for S 722 (2021)

Summary date: 

May 18 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
Senate Bill 722 (Public) Filed Tuesday, May 18, 2021
AN ACT TO REQUIRE THAT ELECTIONS IN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS WITH ONE OR MORE OFFICES UP FOR ELECTION IN 2021 WHERE THE CANDIDATE FOR THAT OFFICE IS ELECTED BY DISTRICT SHALL BE DELAYED UNTIL 2022; TO REQUIRE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS WITH DELAYED 2021 ELECTIONS TO REVIEW AND REVISE THOSE ELECTORAL DISTRICTS FOLLOWING THE RELEASE OF THE 2020 U.S. CENSUS DATA; TO PROVIDE THAT REGULAR MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IN THE CITY OF RALEIGH SHALL BE HELD IN EVEN-NUMBERED YEARS; AND TO ALLOW RESOLUTIONS REDISTRICTING COUNTY ELECTORAL DISTRICTS TO BECOME EFFECTIVE UPON ADOPTION FOR THE 2022 ELECTIONS.
Intro. by Daniel, Newton, Hise.

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Bill summary

Revises GS 160A-23.1, which provides procedures for the redistricting of city council districts after a federal decennial census. Now directs the council, in the year of the release of federal decennial census information rather than as soon as possible after receipt of that information, to evaluate the existing district boundaries to determine whether it would be lawful to hold the next election without revising districts. Requires a council which determines revision of the district boundaries is necessary to consider whether it will be possible to adopt changes before the third business day (was, the third day, though "third business day" is used in current subsection (c)) before opening of the filing period for the next municipal election with proper public input.

More specifically authorizes a council which determines revision of the district boundaries is necessary to conform with State and federal law, but is not likely possible in that time period, to adopt a resolution delaying the next municipal election, subject to a properly noticed public hearing on the resolution. No longer requires the council to also determine that the population imbalances are so significant that it would not be lawful to hold the next election using the current electoral districts to adopt a resolution delaying the next municipal election.

Eliminates the requirement that all resolutions adopted under the statute and any changes in electoral district boundaries made under the statute be submitted to the US Department of Justice (if the city is covered under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965), the State Board of Elections, and to the board conducting the elections for that city. Instead, (1) requires adopted resolutions to be submitted to the State Board of Elections and the board conducting the elections for that city (see new subsection (c2)), and (2) makes organizational and clarifying changes, enacting new subsection (f) to condition the implementation and enforcement of revised district boundaries upon approval from the US Department of Justice, if required (previously, referenced in subsection (a)). 

Makes further organizational changes, enacting new subsections (c1) and (c2) to provide rules for (1) when a council adopts a resolution delaying the next municipal election and does not adopt the changes by the end of the third business day before the opening of the filing period of the next election, and (2) when a council adopts such a resolution but proceeds to adopt the changes within the described deadline (previously, set forth in previous subsection (a) and subsection (d)). Makes further clarifying and technical changes. 

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