Knowledgebase-Changing Election Date to Coincide with the General Election in November


Information Product

Title:Changing Election Date to Coincide with the General Election in November
Summary:MTAS was asked how to change a city's election date from odd numbered years to even numbered years.
Original Author:Darden, Ron
Co-Author:
Product Create Date:02/08/2010
Last Reviewed on::02/10/2010
Subject:Elections
Type:General
Original Document: Changing Election Date.pdf

Reference Documents:

Text of Document: February 8, 2010


Mrs. Gilda Collie, City Manager
City of Collinwood
108 Third Avenue
Collinwood, Tennessee 38450

Dear Gilda

You recently requested information about changing the municipal election to coincide with the General election in November of even numbered years. The city’s present election is on odd numbered years.

Current Municipal Charter and TCA 6-20-102 Provisions for Changing the Election Date.

A. Background-
According to the Tennessee Secretary of State’s records the city’s original General Law Manager/Council charter was adopted on August 20, 1947. The first election of officers was held on the fourth Tuesday following the adoption of the charter or September 16, 1947. The city’s current election is the first Tuesday of June on odd numbered years.

B. Provisions of the Municipal Charter and TCA 6-20-102-
The commission may by ordinance approved by a 2/3 vote of the entire commission fix the date of subsequent regular municipal elections as the date of the regular November general election (1st Tuesday following the first Monday in November of even numbered years).

If a term expires 6 months or less before a regular November election, the commission may by ordinance extend the length of the term of an incumbent to coincide with the next regular November election. Note: All the terms of your commissioners expire more than 6 months prior to the November election date, since we are adjusting for even numbered years.

If a term expires more than 6 months before a regular November election, the commission shall fix the date of the election as long as any date so designated falls within 90 days of the annual election anniversary of the first election of the board of commissioners (within 90 days of November 29). In such election, the term of office shall be a transitional one, which shall extend only until the next regular November election that occurs more than 3 years after such scheduled election.

After the transitional period, all terms of office for members of the board of commissioners shall be for 4 years.


Example- (Since all commission seats will expire more than 6 months prior to the November general election date):

For those elected in 2007, the present terms of office will expire in June of 2011. The transitional term shall begin in June of 2011 and end in November of 2014 or a 41 month term of office. The transitional term will be for 41 months.

For those elected in 2009, the present terms of office will expire in June of 2013. The transitional term shall begin in June of 2013 and end in November of 2016 or a 41 month term of office. The transitional term will be for 41 months.

Essentially, your city has three alternatives for changing the municipal election date:

a. Follow the provisions in your municipal charter and TCA 6-20-102, which will require a transitional term of office of 41 months.
b. Seek a general law population category designation as outlined in TCA 6-20-102 (d) (1) that provides two additional options for changing the election date.
c. Support HB 3404 by Ramsey (SB3526 by Overbey) that authorized any municipality, including those incorporated by private act, to change the date of municipal elections by ordinance to coincide with the August or November general elections and to extend the terms of incumbents to meet the new date so long as no term is extended for more than two years. This amends TCA Title six (6). This alternative allows the city to move the election to the August or November election dates.

Please let me know if you want me to prepare an ordinance changing the municipal election date to coincide with the November general election. It is not necessary for the city to pass the ordinance immediately. You may want to consider encouraging your State Representatives to support HB3404, since it more favorably addresses changing the municipal election date to either the August State election or the November General election. I recommend that you have the city’s attorney review any proposed election change.

Sincerely


Ron Darden
Municipal Management Consultant

Cc. MTAS Legal Consultant Josh Jones