Editor’s Note: The headline of this article has been changed from “Orange County Commissioners Looking Into Changing How District Vote” to the current headline. The reason for the change was to correct any implication that the matter was set to come before the board in the near future. While it has been discussed during a work session in March, the matter is not set to be discussed on any upcoming agenda. The original unaltered story is below.
With local elections coming up in November, there have been talks of changing how Orange County Commissioners are elected for the different districts.
As of now, District 1 (Chapel Hill/Carrboro) and District 2 (northern Orange County) are able to vote for each other’s Commissioners in the general election in November, despite differences in population and general political climate.
Orange County chair Mark Dorosin says that while he has pushed for redesigning this process, the board is at a bit of a standstill.
“There’s a limited amount that we can do without having to seek authority from the state legislature,” said Dorosin, “and there was very little interest in doing anything that would invite the state legislature to look closely at Orange County and how we do anything.”
Dorosin says that state legislative intervention in other counties has only brought what he calls “government by retribution.”
Despite this, Dorosin believes changes should still be made.
“I believe we should do anything we can to make the process as fair as possible,” said Dorosin. “I think that at a minimum, we ought to take the step of saying only District 2 voters elect District 2 representatives and only District 1 voters elect District 1 representatives.”
Elections are scheduled for November 6, 2018, and the deadline for candidates to file is February 28.
One seat is up in each District 1, District 2 and the county at large. District 1 incumbent Mia Burroughs has announced she will not seek re-election. Former Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools Board of Education member Jamezetta Bedford has announced her intention to run for the seat currently held by Burroughs. Earl McKee has said he intends to seek re-election to his District 2 seat. Barry Jacobs said in a recent e-mail to WCHL that he intends to announce future plans closer to the filing deadline regarding the at-large seat Jacobs currently holds.