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Cornelius News

Local elections could be delayed

April 13. By Dave Yochum. UPDATED. Will local elections be held this November as scheduled? Maybe not. The NC State Board of Elections is saying North Carolina might need to delay elections because 2020 US Census reporting is behind schedule.

NC Sen. Natasha Marcus is asking town officials for feedback regarding whether there is a preference for a Cornelius municipal election to be held as scheduled this November or wait until 2022.

So far, three Cornelius commissioners—Denis Bilodeau, Jim Duke and Michael Miltich—have said they are in favor of postponing this year’s election. Mayor Woody Washam is also in favor of postponing.

“Breaking up the local election process over two years will only add expense, confusion and election fatigue,” said Mayor Pro Tem Denis Bilodeau.


He favors a combined local election scenario where voter turnout will not be “watered down.”

Opposed are first-term Commissioner Tricia Sisson as well as veteran Commissioner Thurman Ross.


“Citizens voted for a two-year term, that’s what they expect,” said Ross, explaining that doing so keeps commissioners more accountable.

The commission terms are for two years, as well as the mayor.


The Census Bureau said it will distribute the data states need to redraw legislative and congressional districts around five months late, throwing a wrench in elections this year and next.

Long-time former Commissioner Dave Gilroy, who was planning to run again this year, said he is in favor of local elections moving over to 2022.

“I’ve always supported even-year elections so that more citizens will participate,” he said.

UPDATE:  Two commissioners responded after deadline:


“The town of Cornelius does not have a fact based rationale for delaying our municipal election as the delay is due to the census data coming in late. This only affects municipalities where voters vote in districts. The Mayor and 5 town commissioners were elected by the citizens for a two year term, and I don’t believe we should be extending our terms without consent of the voters.”

—Tricia Sisson

“I would think that permanently having Town Board election on even years would bring in far more voters. Greater participation will lead to better results.”


—Jim Duke