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Nonpartisan Elections

Public Invited to Comment on Proposed Change in Municipal Election Process

The City of Greenville will hold a public hearing, beginning at 5:30 pm on Monday, April 14, in the City Hall Council Chambers, on the 10th floor of City Hall.

The City of Greenville held a series of public meetings in January to give citizens an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback on the City’s election process. City Council has since reviewed and assessed the input received during the public meetings and via e-mail from citizens who were unable to attend a public meeting.

The purpose of the public hearing is to give citizens an opportunity to provide input on a resulting proposal to conduct municipal elections with a nonpartisan method of nominating candidates for office.

View Draft Ordinance | Email Comments to elections@greenvillesc.gov

Quick Facts on Nonpartisan Municipal Elections

The change to nonpartisan municipal elections...

  • Would not prohibit or limit the ability of candidates to declare an affiliation as a member of a political party, such as Republican or Democrat.
  • Would not prohibit or limit the capacity of the parties to endorse a single candidate or slate of candidates.
  • Would not change the number of seats on City Council or the Greenville Water Commission.
  • Would not change the term of years for a City Council or Water Commission seat.
  • Would not change the electoral district boundaries.
  • Would not change the polling places where people vote.
  • Would not change the November date of the general municipal elections.
The Current Election Cycle - Partisan

The current election cycle extends from mid-March to early November of every other year. Candidates file a statement of candidacy with their political party between March 16 and March 30 of the election cycle. Primary elections are conducted by the political parties in June of the election cycle allowing each party to determine by vote their party’s candidate for the general election held in November. Petition candidates are allowed to file for candidacy until 75 days before the general election. Certified party and petition candidates are placed on the ballot for the general election which is conducted by the City on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. According to state law, candidates without opposition prior to the general election may be declared the winner by the Municipal Election Commission and therefore, would not be listed on the general election ballot in November.

The Proposed Election Cycle - Nonpartisan

The proposed election cycle would be conducted in a shorter period of time with candidates filing a statement of candidacy with the City Clerk’s Office 75 days before the general election in November, thereby alleviating the process of filing as a petition candidate. On Election Day, the candidate with the most votes or with a majority of votes would be declared the winner. State law authorizes City Council to select one of two methods in determining a winner: runoff method or plurality method. The runoff method allows for a runoff election to be held two weeks after the general election if no candidate receives a majority of the votes. The plurality method allows the candidate with the most votes to win the election, even if the candidate does not have a majority of the votes. The distinction matters only when there are more than two candidates running for the same position.