In the wake of last Tuesday’s 4-3 City Council vote to change the city charter and return to partisan municipal elections, a nonpartisan coalition — Let Asheville Vote — registered a referendum petition with the Buncombe County Board of Elections today that would allow the people of the city make that decision instead.
The petition, which requires some 5,000 signatures of registered voters in order to meet its ballot goal, calls for the question of partisan or nonpartisan municipal elections to be voted on by the public.
“It shouldn’t have been decided this way — the process was flawed,” coalition member George Keller told the Xpress, referring to the Council vote that reversed 12 years of nonpartisan elections in the city. Keller, who is a former chair of the Buncombe County Republican Party, stressed that the group is taking no position on whether elections should be partisan or nonpartisan, but is acting to hand the decision to the general public. Local engineer Charlie Hume has been named to head the coalition. For information about the group or the petition, e-mail email@example.com or visit letashevillevote.org.
— Nelda Holder, news and opinion editor