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.
Senate committee substitute deletes the content of the 1st edition and now provides the following.
Delays regular 2021 elections in any municipality where there is an election of municipal officers scheduled for 2021 and where less than the entire jurisdiction is eligible to vote for candidates for one or more offices on the 2021 ballot until 2022. Extends the terms of mayors and council members serving on the date the act becomes law in municipalities with delayed elections until a successor is chosen, qualified and sworn into office in 2022.
Requires each municipality with elections delayed to review and revise its electoral districts upon the release of the 2020 Census data by the US Census Bureau by November 17, 2021, and provide the revised electoral districts to the appropriate county board(s) of election by November 19, 2021. Exempts the municipalities from the provisions of GS 160A-23.1 (Special rules for redistricting after a federal decennial census) and any resolution adopted thereunder. Allows for opportunities for public input prior to the release of the 2020 Census data, but requires municipalities to provide an opportunity for public input after the release of the Census data as well as at least one public hearing prior to adopting revised districts.
Provides for the filing period for delayed elections to be noon December 6, 2021, until noon December 17, 2021, with form of notice of candidacy compliant with State law. Requires a municipality that determines to it is unable to review and revise its electoral districts pursuant to State and federal law prior to November 17, 2021, to notify the appropriate board(s) of elections, with the board(s) thereby authorized to delay the filing period for such offices to open at noon on January 3, 2022, and close at noon on January 7, 2022. Provides for right of withdrawal of candidacy. Establishes election dates for delayed elections, beginning with primaries and elections on March 8, 2022, with election dates based on the method of election. Provides for certified winners to hold office until the expiration of the term under the municipal charters as if the election had been held in 2021.
Amends GS 163-111, eliminating the prohibition against registering voters between the dates of first and second primaries. Now allows for persons to register to vote after the day of the first primary, entitling the voter to vote in the second primary (previously, limited to persons whose qualifications to register and vote mature after the day of the first primary and before the day of the second primary), subject to GS 163-82.6, which provides for voter registration requirements and limitations, and GS 163-82.6A, which permits address and name changes to a voter's registration at one-stop sites. Adds a new prohibition barring persons from changing party affiliation or unaffiliated status between the date of a primary and second primary.
Similarly amends GS 163-82.6(f), which provides for instances in which a person can register and vote on primary or election day if the person becomes qualified between the 25th day before a primary or election. Eliminates the prohibition against registering on the day of a second primary unless the person becomes qualified between the date of the first primary and the date of the succeeding second primary.
Amends GS 163-302, which sets parameters for absentee voting, to no longer cross-reference statutorily set filing deadlines and instead generally reference the filing deadlines for county boards to secure official ballots with respect to the required availability of absentee ballots for municipal elections, special district elections, and other elections for an area less than an entire county other than NCGA elections.
Provides for the statutory changes set forth in the act to become effective March 9, 2022, and expire on June 1, 2022.
Makes changes to the act's long title.
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