In a letter to Mayor Rick West and city council members, the Chesapeake NAACP is asking them not to move the city’s elections to odd-numbered years.
CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Chesapeake’s mayor wants to move city elections to November of odd-numbered years, but that proposal is meeting resistance, including new opposition from the Chesapeake NAACP.
In a letter to Mayor Rick West and city council members, the group is asking them not to move Chesapeake’s city elections to odd-numbered years.
Virginia recently passed legislation that requires all municipalities to have their local elections in November instead of May. Chesapeake was among those cities that had elections in May.
Mayor West proposed an ordinance that would move those local elections to November in odd years. That means the local elections wouldn’t align with national elections.
Critics of the ordinance say that move to odd years will hurt voter turnout. The NAACP branch in Chesapeake went a step further, saying in part that “moving the current even year elections to odd years would be a concerning and continuing pattern of voter suppression in Chesapeake … We must continue to serve our community in excellence and best advocate for changes that best serve all our Chesapeake citizens.”
“This is not normal,” said Tiffany Thompson, who began a petition against the proposal. “People need to understand that the vast majority of Virginia cities and towns have their elections in even years.”
A public hearing and vote are scheduled for Tuesday’s city council meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Chesapeake City Council is accepting public comment on the issue before Tuesday’s hearing. Voters can call the city clerk’s office or email email@example.com by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13. Or, they can call 757-520-1250 between 5:45 and 6:30 p.m. Tuesday night to be “placed in a queue to speak.”