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City to Make a few Changes to it’s Election Laws

Every vote counts!

The Council held two Worksession discussions (February 2 and February 16) with the Board of Election Supervisors and have discussed changes to the election date and other matters related to the November election. Specifically, the Council is interested in holding the election on Sunday, November 7,
and in having applications for absentee ballots mailed to all registered voters.

At the next week’s meeting, the Council will consider the following amendments to the City Charter:

1. C3-5: Council expressed interest in holding the City election on a Sunday to provide residents with a more convenient day to vote in the hope that it will increase voter participation. Residents also have the option to vote by mail (absentee ballot) to eliminate the need to go to the poll at all. To provide flexibility in changing the date of the election, this amendment will allow the Mayor and Council to set the election date by March 31 in an election year. If a date is not designated by March 31, the “first Tuesday following the first Monday in November” will be the default date.

2. C3-6 B (3)(a): The proposed change to this section applies specifically to a candidate’s date of withdrawal in a Special Election. Currently, a candidate in a Special Election has until noon on the 11th calendar day before the election to withdraw their candidacy. The recommendation is to change this date to 4 days after the applications for candidacy are due.

3. C4-5 C: This proposed amendment is related to the date that petitions ad other candidates’ qualifying paperwork is due. This date is tied to the date that petitions and other qualifying paperwork is due.

4. C4-5 E: This proposed amendment is to move the deadline for candidate petitions and other qualifying paperwork from 46 days before the election to 53 days before the election, which adds one week between the date the paperwork is due and the date of the election. The second change in “E” relates to the specific circumstance where the deadline for candidate paperwork is extended “in the event that no qualified candidate files for office” by the due date. The proposal here is to shorten up this extension from 10 days to 7 days.

5. C4-5 F: This proposed amendment applies to the last day of withdrawal in a regular election. The proposal is instead to tie the withdrawal date to the date that candidacy paperwork is due.

6. C4-6: This proposed amendment will allow the date of a runoff election to be set by Mayor and Council that is no more than 45 days from the date that the election results were certified.

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