CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- City elections in Charleston could be changed to match state elections if an ordinance allowing it succeeds.
The law, first introduced in city council Monday night, would make city primary and general elections coincide with state and county elections in non-presidential years, beginning in 2018. City voting precincts would also be changed to match those of the county.
City Manager David Molgaard said the change in the election time would save the city $250,000 per election.
To implement the change, terms for officials elected in 2015 would be only three and one-half years, instead of four.
Council referred the ordinance to its Ordinance and Rules committee, which may amend the bill before sending it back to council.
A public hearing to allow residents to express any objections to the change is built into the law. According to the ordinance, the hearing would be scheduled for Oct. 7, but that date could be changed.
Matching the city's elections to those of the county and state is expected to increase voter turnout and reduce conflicts with current polling locations, particularly schools.
Also at Monday's meeting, citizens commented in regard to a city ordinance dealing with cats, which will be introduced at council's next meeting, Mayor Danny Jones said.