Waxhaw Commissioners Support Resolution to Delay Election, Extend Their Term
WAXHAW, N.C. – Some neighbors in Waxhaw are raising concerns about a plan to change the town election schedule.
Commissioners want to delay the next election by a year, to match up with most state and federal races.
If the plan is approved by state lawmakers, November’s municipal election would be canceled and current commissioners and the Mayor would serve an additional year on their term.
Town leaders say moving the election to 2022 will increase voter turnout, but some say it’s not fair.
“You are given your term and you were voted in for four years,” argues former Waxhaw Town Commissioner Candace DiFinis.
She was shocked to learn about the plan which would move the town’s elections to even-numbered years.
Commissioners passed a resolution on Tuesday night supporting the plan.
“To go ahead and just go ahead and clerically extend your term, to me is really not honoring the agreement you made to the residents,” DiFinis says.
Commissioners argue the change makes sense because significantly more people vote in even years, when higher-profile races are on the ballot.
Over the past five years, the town says, on average, 53% of registered voters cast ballots in even years, while only 9.5% voted in odd years.
Before any change could happen, state lawmakers would have to weigh in.
The resolution instructs the state legislature to draft and introduce legislation to make it happen.
Pedro Morey is the only commissioner to vote “no” on the resolution.
“Today’s political climate, it would be a little bit of a hard sell,” he said during Tuesday night’s meeting.
Other commissioners argue the benefits outweigh any concerns.
“It’s got bad optics but the data is there to support this decision,” said Commissioner Jason Hall, during the meeting.