The Orange County Board of Commissioners appointed the BOCC Elections Advisory Group (BEAG) in February 2021 to study how county commissioners are elected in Orange County and to recommend possible changes for consideration by the Board of Commissioners.
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As part of this process, the BEAG has developed a survey to gauge the public’s sentiment on how county commissioners are elected and whether or not the current method can be improved upon or should remain the same.
Orange County is governed by a seven-member board of commissioners elected in partisan countywide elections. Commissioners serve four-year terms, and elections are held in even-numbered years.
Two members are elected at-large, meaning the candidates can live anywhere in Orange County and are voted on by all registered voters in the county in the primary and general elections.
Five commissioners are elected via a district, with three members representing District 1 (southeastern portion of the county including Chapel Hill and Carrboro) and two members representing District 2 (the rest of the county). In district elections, commissioners must reside in the district and only voters within the district vote in the primary to choose which candidates will run in the November General Election. In the General Election, all voters in the county vote in the district races.
The brief, anonymous survey will take less than five minutes to complete. Responses will be taken into consideration as the BEAG develops recommendations for changes to be considered by the BOCC.
The online survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XZHDPS7. Residents without Internet access can request a paper copy of the survey. Please mail your request to Orange County BEAG Survey, PO Box 8181, Hillsborough, NC 27278, or call (919) 245-2302 and leave your name and address. The online survey will close at midnight June 22. Paper surveys must be returned by June 23.
After the BOCC receives the BEAG report and recommendations, the board will solicit public comments and feedback before considering changes to the election process. Any changes to how commissioners are elected must be approved either by voters through a referendum or by an act of the N.C. General Assembly.
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