Saturday, December 15, 2007

How To Move Roanoke City May Elections To November

Roanoke City has such a poor turnout for May Elections. Yes, it seems like the Commonwealth of Virginia has an election several times a year. In 2008 we have a Presidential Primary, Presidential Elections, and Local Elections. At least we don’t have a Primary locally in 2008. A Mass Meeting February 5th for the Democratic Nominees will take care of that.
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Can’t keep up with all these dates? There is a solution to at least the local elections. Moving the local Mayor and Council elections to November when General Elections are held will certainly increase the abysmal voter turnout that decides the MOST important election for the citizens of Roanoke City. Remember … all politics is local and of all the elections held your vote in local elections effects you the most but alas voter participation is the least. Will moving the local elections to November bring more voter interest? I don’t know … most Roanoke City voters don’t know what is going on and have never attended nor viewed on RVTV the reruns of Council meetings. The Web casts are also available online for about a month. The best thing about the web casts is you can fast forward through the “formalities” and get to the agenda items in a flash which cuts down on some of those LONG 2 hour Council meetings.
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HOW TO MOVE LOCAL ELECTIONS FROM MAY TO NOVEMBER:
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§ 24.2-222.1. Alternative election of mayor and council at November general election in cities and towns.
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A. Notwithstanding the provisions of §
24.2-222, the council of a city or town may provide by ordinance that the mayor, if an elected mayor is provided for by charter, and council shall be elected at the November general election date of any cycle as designated in the ordinance, for terms to commence January 1. No such ordinance shall be adopted between January 1 and the May general election date of the year in which city or town elections regularly are scheduled to be held therein.
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B. Alternatively, the registered voters of a city or town may file a petition with the circuit court of the city or of the county within which the town is located asking that a referendum be held on the question of whether the city or town should elect the mayor, if an elected mayor is provided for by charter, and council members at the November general election date of any cycle as designated in the petition. The petition shall be signed by registered voters equal in number to at least ten percent of the number registered in the city or town on the January 1 preceding the filing.
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(Roanoke City Total Number of Registered Voters as of 8/31/2007 are 56,433 X 10% = 5,643 signatures).
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The court, pursuant to
§
24.2-684, shall order the election officials on a day fixed in the order to conduct a referendum on the question, provided that no such referendum shall be scheduled between January 1 and the May general election date of the year in which city or town elections regularly are scheduled to be held therein. The clerk of the court shall publish notice of the referendum once a week for the three consecutive weeks prior to the referendum in a newspaper having general circulation in the city or town, and shall post a copy of the notice at the door of the courthouse of the city or county within which the town is located.
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The question on the ballot shall be:
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“Shall the (city or town) change the election date of the mayor (if so provided by charter) and members of council from the May general election to the November general election (in even-numbered or odd-numbered years or as otherwise designated in the petition)?”

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Politics, Roanoke City Politics

Tags: , ,

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