Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 24.2. Elections
Chapter 2. Federal, Commonwealth, and Local Officers
12/2/2020

§ 24.2-222.1. Alternative election of mayor and council at November general election in cities and towns.

A. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 24.2-222, and notwithstanding any contrary provisions of a city or town charter, 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.

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.

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. The question on the ballot shall be:

"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)?"

If members of the school board in the city or town are elected by the voters, the ballot question also shall state that the change in election date applies to the election of school board members.

The referendum shall be held and the results certified as provided in § 24.2-684. If a majority of the voters voting in the referendum vote in favor of the change, the mayor and council thereafter shall be elected at the November general election date for terms to commence January 1.

C. Except as provided in subsection D, no term of a mayor or member of council shall be shortened in implementing the change to the November election date. Mayors and members of council who were elected at a May general election and whose terms are to expire as of June 30 shall continue in office until their successors have been elected at the November general election and have been qualified to serve.

D. In any city or town that elects its council biennially or quadrennially and that changes to the November general election date in odd-numbered years from the May general election date in even-numbered years, mayors and members of council who were elected at a May general election shall have their term of office shortened by six months but shall continue in office until their successors have been elected at the November general election and have been qualified to serve.

2000, c. 1045; 2002, c. 30; 2016, c. 402.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.