GOLDSBORO, NC — Southern Coalition for Social Justice (SCSJ) praises the work of residents of Goldsboro, who pushed back Tuesday against potential plans to change the way in which they elect their City Council and Mayor.
The City Council held a Special Meeting on March 14 to receive input on amending the City Charter’s election method. Goldsboro currently uses the Nonpartisan Primary and Election Method, in which all potential candidates run in a nonpartisan primary and the top two vote-getters move on to the general election. City Manager Tim Salmon said the City could change to three alternative methods, Nonpartisan Plurality, Nonpartisan Election and Runoff, and Partisan Primary and Election.
Katelin Kaiser, Counsel for Voting Rights at SCSJ, noted at the meeting that such a significant change to the City’s election method requires much more public education and outreach than the City had held so far.
“This is unfair to your constituents because changing the election method, particularly where a primary election may be eliminated, will significantly impact voters in different ways, and they have the right to know how it will,” Kaiser said.
Many residents of Goldsboro spoke out against the potential changes, including several members of the Goldsboro Wayne County NAACP.
“The Goldsboro Wayne NAACP is grateful for everyone who came out in support of our efforts to protect the fundamental right to vote,” said John Barnes, President of the Goldsboro Wayne NAACP. “Your voices made a difference, and we want to thank you for standing with us to prioritize investing in the democratic process and ensuring that all voters have a fair chance to participate.”
At the end of the forum, the City Council members indicated they were not in favor of changing the City’s election method and Mr. Salmon said he would budget for the city’s normal two elections. SCSJ praises the councilmembers for listening to the input of their residents and encourages the residents of Goldsboro to continue engaging in issues that impact their City’s future.
First Vice President of the Goldsboro Wayne NAACP Francine Smith thanked both SCSJ and NAACP North Carolina Fourth Vice President Courtney Patterson for their support through the process.
“Their expertise and guidance have been invaluable in our mission to protect the fundamental right to vote, and we are thankful for their partnership in advocating for policies that promote equity and fairness in our community,” Smith said.
Andy Li, SCSJ | email@example.com
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, founded in 2007, partners with communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities in the South to defend and advance their political, social, and economic rights through the combination of legal advocacy, research, organizing, and communications. Learn more at southerncoalition.org and follow our work on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.