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Public hearing about non-partisan elections to be held Monday

Citizens will have the chance to speak during a public hearing Monday night about the possibility of changing to non-partisan municipal elections in Albemarle.

This has been an issue for many decades and people have differing opinions regarding the subject.

According to the UNC School of Government, Albemarle is one of only seven cities, villages and towns out of 552 in the state that still have partisan elections. The others are Asheville, Charlotte, Kinston, Lincolnton, Sanford and Winston-Salem.

“The Council has repeatedly heard over the last few years that we needed to change to non-partisan,” said Mayor Ronnie Michael. “This is the opportunity for our residents to let us know whether they want us to consider change.”

“I think the public hearing is important to allow interested parties to voice their opinions so the public and City Council can hear different points of view,” added Councilman Chris Whitley. “I have always felt that local elections should be non-partisan since most local issues aren’t partisan or political matters. I don’t believe being registered as a Republican or a Democrat at the local level tells anyone much about how I will make decisions. I prefer to think citizens vote for their local representatives based on the person and not on the party they belong to.”

With around one-third of Albemarle citizens unaffiliated, Whitley said: “I think it is time we change to allow all citizens to participate.”

The Albemarle City Council meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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