Postponed elections to cost town

Published 10:07 am Wednesday, April 22, 2020

The May municipal elections will likely be moved to later in the year by the General Assembly this week, but the Town of Victoria will still be on the hook for the bill.

Victoria Town Manager Rodney Newton said during last week’s town council meeting that the cost of the canceled May election will still have to be paid by the town no matter when the General Assembly decides to hold the election.

Gov. Ralph Northam has recommended moving municipal elections to coincide with the national elections Tuesday, Nov. 3. Several Republican leaders in the legislature have suggested moving the elections to June 23. That is the same day Northam scheduled for the state’s primary elections after using executive power to move the primary back two weeks. The primary elections were originally scheduled for Tuesday, June 9, a day before Virginia’s Stay-at-Home Order was set to expire.

The move to November has also been opposed by the Virginia League of Municipalities. In a letter to Northam, they said moving elections past the expiration of elected officials terms on June 30, and the discarding of absentee ballots already cast by some Virginia voters, brings up constitutional issues that could be avoided if the elections were held before the last Tuesday in June.

Newton said Monday, the cost the town has been billed for the postponed elections is around $2,000. The town has reached out to Delegate Tommy Wright and State Senator Frank Ruff about the financial hardship placed on the town for the canceled elections.