Towns vote to change elections

Published 12:16 pm Saturday, October 2, 2021

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The Towns of Victoria and Kenbridge, like many other municipalities in the commonwealth, have voted to move their elections for mayor and council members to November, beginning with the 2022 general election.

The decision comes after public hearings for both towns. Currently, town elections are held in May.

Council members and the mayor, whose terms expire as of June 30, 2022, will continue in office until their successors have been elected at the November election and take office on Jan. 1, 2023.

During the 2021 Special Session, the Virginia General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1157, mandating that city and town elections be held in November, starting with elections held after Jan. 1, 2022.

“The town did not have a choice about switching the date,” Victoria Town Manager Rodney Newton said.

In Kenbridge, three council seats are up for election in 2022.

“Instead of an election in May, the 2022 election will be held Nov. 8, 2022, Kenbridge Town Manager Tony Matthews said. “Three council members are serving terms that were scheduled to expire June 30, 2022, but due to the required change in elections, the expiration of their terms has been extended until Dec. 31, 2022.”

Matthews said it was also voted to change the term of mayor to be elected every two years instead of every four years. “This would make the current Mayoral election also take place on Nov. 8, 2022,” Matthews said.

Municipalities already have the option of moving their elections to November. However,

according to a recent Virginia Municipal League newsletter, over half of Virginia municipalities are holding elections in May because it provides a better opportunity to separate local elections from those for state and federal offices.