Candidate filing for most 2021 city, town, and village elections in North Carolina begins at noon Friday, July 2, and ends at noon Friday, July 16.
Filing for municipalities with any office that requires residency in a municipal district or ward is from noon Monday, July 26 to noon Friday, Aug. 13.
During municipal elections, voters elect local officials, including mayors and town or city councilmembers. Some municipalities may also conduct property tax levy, alcoholic beverage, or other referenda.
In 2021, there are two municipal election dates, based on the type of election used by a municipality.*
- Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021
- Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021
For specific election and filing dates, use the State Board’s 2021 Municipal Candidate Tool.
Updated candidate lists will be posted daily on the State Board’s website: Candidate Lists.
“Service at the municipal level often has the most direct impact on the communities in which we live. We hope many candidates sign up to run for local office this year,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “We also encourage eligible individuals across the state to register and vote in their local elections.”
To file for municipal office, a candidate must:
- Be 21 years old by Election Day.
- Be a registered voter of the county and reside in the municipality at the time they file for office. If they are not already registered to vote, they can register at the time they file their notice of candidacy.
- Reside within the district or ward for an office that is elected by district or ward.
- File a Municipal Notice of Candidacy (fillable PDF) with their county board of elections office and pay a filing fee set by the municipality or submit a petition in lieu of paying the fee.
- File an organizational report for the candidate committee with the county board of elections within 10 days of filing a notice of candidacy or within 10 days of organizing the candidate committee, whichever occurs first.
- For partisan elections, be affiliated with the same political party in which he or she intends to file for at least 90 days prior to the filing date.
- Disclose any felony convictions. A prior felony conviction does not preclude holding elective office if the candidate’s rights of citizenship have been restored.
Candidates for partisan municipal offices who wish to run as unaffiliated should review N.C.G.S. § 163-296 and N.C.G.S. § 163-122 (a)(4), and the fact sheet on running as an unaffiliated candidate (PDF).
Elections for about 30 N.C. municipalities that elect by district were delayed until 2022 because of delays in the receipt of U.S. Census data needed for redistricting. If a municipality that elects any office by district opts to have its at-large elections held in 2021, it must notify the county board of elections by July 19, 2021, and candidates for those offices would file for office beginning at noon Monday, July 26.
For more information, see Elections Postponed in Several North Carolina Municipalities.
*This press release was updated Friday, July 2, to reflect the change from three municipal election dates to two election dates.