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Municipal election bill would end partisan primary runoffs

May 26, 2017

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Primary runoffs for partisan municipal elections — like this fall’s upcoming Charlotte mayor’s race — would be abolished in legislation advancing at the North Carolina House.

Bill sponsor Rep. David Lewis of Harnett County says schedule changes are needed for municipal elections, which are held in odd-numbered years. State election officials note absentee balloting rules make it impossible to certify the primary results before early voting for a runoff begins.

In Charlotte, Mayor Jennifer Roberts is facing two Democratic challengers so far. Current law says the leading candidate must get more than 40 percent of the primary vote to avoid a runoff.

The measure approved Thursday by the House elections committee also would move nonpartisan municipal primaries from October to September and shorten candidate filing in July by three days.

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