Ahoskie election delayed

Published 5:13 pm Tuesday, June 29, 2021

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AHOSKIE – Three of the five members of the Ahoskie Town Council whose four-year terms end later this year must wait until March 2022 to earn the opportunity to be reelected if they choose to file for office.

Legislation delaying municipal elections for offices elected by district until 2022 became law on Monday. Under Session Law 2021-56, more than 30 municipalities across North Carolina, including Ahoskie, will delay elections originally scheduled for later this year.

The delay will allow these municipalities to consider revising their electoral districts based on new population numbers from the 2020 U.S. Census.

Ahoskie is the only town in the Roanoke-Chowan area that elects four of its five Council members by districts. The town has two Wards (A and B) with two Council members representing each of those districts. The fifth Council seat is elected “at large” (meaning that individual can reside in either of the two Wards). The Mayor is also elected at large.

Ahoskie Council seats currently held by Charles Freeman (Ward A), Roy Sharpe (Ward B), and Jamie Burns (At Large) were originally scheduled to be on the ballot during November’s General Election. The statewide legislation approved Monday by the North Carolina General Assembly delays that election to March 8, 2022.

Under the new law, terms of mayors and council members in the affected municipalities will be extended until they or their successors are elected in 2022.

Other municipalities in eastern North Carolina are also impacted by this delay in their scheduled 2021 election cycle. That list includes Edenton, Elizabeth City, Enfield, Fayetteville, Greenville, Jacksonville, New Bern, Plymouth, Princeville, Roanoke Rapids, Rocky Mount, Tarboro, and Wilson.

Candidate filing periods for the delayed elections will be held either in December 2021 or January 2022, depending on when each municipality completes the redrawing of its districts.

If a municipality provides revised districts by Nov. 17, the filing period for the 2022 elections will begin at 12 noon on Dec. 6, 2021, and end at 12 noon on Dec. 17, 2021.

If an affected municipality cannot adopt a new redistricting plan by Nov. 17, the county board of elections can delay the filing period for that municipality to 12 noon on Jan. 3, 2022, through 12 noon on Jan. 7, 2022.

“City, town, and village elections not affected by this law will go on as planned later this year,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the N.C. State Board of Elections. “The State Board and county boards are hard at work preparing for the upcoming candidate filing periods and elections.”

The filing period for municipal elections in all other towns in the Roanoke-Chowan area is scheduled to begin at 12 noon on Friday, July 2 and end at 12 noon on Friday, July 16. If a county board of elections office is closed on July 2 for the Independence Day holiday, filing for municipal offices will begin on Monday, July 5.



About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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