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VERIFY: Yes, Charlotte can break up its municipal elections into two parts

According to Professor Michael Bitzer, a new state law allows for local municipalities to hold two elections for city positions.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte City leaders will likely decide Monday night if pushing back the local election is the right move. 

This comes after COVID-19 delayed census information, making it impossible for the council to redraw district lines with updated data. As a result, district races are out of the question until next year. 

RELATED: 2020 Census: North Carolina gains one congressional seat

They can't be decided until the districts are redrawn, which won't happen until close to the end of this year. 

However, the council could decide to hold the mayoral race and at-large seats this year because the whole city votes in those elections.

THE QUESTION

Can Charlotte break up its municipal elections into two parts, one citywide and the other based on the new districts? 

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

Yes, Charlotte can hold two elections for city positions. One for the mayor and at-large council seats, the other for district seats. 

WHAT WE FOUND

"Charlotte can have its at-large elections this fall and its district elections in the spring," Bitzer said. 

According to Professor Bitzer, a new state law allows for two separate elections, although it could confuse voters if they have to go to the polls twice. 

"It presents a little bit of chaos for a typical charlotte voter," Bitzer said. 

Could this mean a bigger price tag if the city council decides to hold two elections? 

"So instead of you know, they one and a half million dollars, or $1.2 million, it might cost to have that you got to increase it now by $1.2 million because you're going to have additional elections this year," Dickerson said. 

However,  Dickerson said the county election office is prepared if that's the case. 

"This is the year that my budget is possibly the largest it usually gets. And that being the fact that I have a third election. Now we budget, the budget this year, this year is effectively for two elections," Dickerson said. 

According to Bitzer, this type of double election will probably never happen again, just based on the unusual circumstances that brought us to this point.

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

RELATED: Charlotte city leaders to discuss elections Monday night

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