YORK, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – For most of the year there have been ongoing discussions about moving the York City Council races because of a delay in the 2020 Census data — data that helps to draw district lines.
Tuesday, the ordinance that would have moved the election was killed and so this November the York City Council races will be on the ballot.
Residents filling York’s Council chambers making their voices heard about their opposition to the delay — a discussion leaders say started back in February. Self-declared candidate for York City Council, Matthew Hickey, among those speaking.
“All those that should recuse themselves, recuse themselves. Those who should be available, please vote the way that the will of the people would dictate,” says Hickey.
“Let York Vote” representative, Marissa Harris, also speaking.
“I’ve discovered that their votes will only change if they’re forced to. I won’t speak on the divide this group of people have tried to cause the city with these actions, however I’m here to thank those who did stand up for our rights,” says Harris.
York Council members for Districts one, five and six are recusing themselves for that second reading, after hearing back from the South Carolina General Counsel Ethics Commission. District 6 Councilman Jim Bradford sharing correspondence with the commission where they said “Commission staff believes this [receiving additional monies for your extended service] constitutes an economic interest requiring recusal from the July 27 vote.”
York’s Mayor Mike Fuesser saying that Census data delay or not, redistricting takes time. Time that has not impacted elections moving forward, in the past.
“The 2000 census I think it took about two and a half years to do the redistricting from that census, the 2010 census took about 18 months. So, going into a census this year redistricting just takes time and had we had the information at the end of 2020, we still would probably be 18 months out from having new maps in the city. So, to delay this election didn’t make sense in that regard to me and a couple of other council members,” says Mayor Fuesser.
Now, the York County Voter Registration and Election office releasing its York Municipal General Election timeline. Election and City leaders saying this election delay discussion and process has not had an adverse impact on the election schedule — things will move forward as normal.
“I believe with us not taking any action on this ordinance tonight the county is prepared for the filing. Which I believe starts in about a week. I believe they are prepared to hold York City municipal elections,” says Mayor Fuesser.
In the video above, CN2’s Rachel Richardson breaks down what this means to voters.