TagCity Council elections

Filing deadline approaches in Lansing, Michigan

The filing deadline to run for elected office in Lansing, Michigan, is on April 27, 2021. Prospective candidates may file for mayor and the following positions on the eight-seat city council: the Ward 2 seat, the Ward 4 seat, and two at-large seats. 

The primary is scheduled for August 3, 2021, and the general election is scheduled for November 2. 

Ballotpedia comprehensively covers elections in the 100 largest cities in the United States by population. We also cover elections for mayor, city council, and district attorney in state capitals outside of the 100 largest cities. Lansing is the capital city of Michigan. 

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Ballotpedia covering elections across 22 counties and 70 cities in 2021

Ballotpedia covers local elections in America’s 100 largest cities by population and in the counties that overlap those cities. Our coverage also includes mayors, city councils, and district attorneys in the 32 state capitals that are not already part of our largest cities coverage. 

In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering municipal elections in 22 counties and 70 cities, including 43 mayoral elections. Click here for more information!



Filing deadline for Detroit elections is April 20

The filing deadline to run for elected office in Detroit, Michigan, is on April 20. Prospective candidates may file for the following nonpartisan offices:

• Mayor

• City Council (9 seats)

• Clerk

• Board of Police Commissioners (7 seats)

The primary is scheduled for Aug. 3 and the general election is scheduled for Nov. 2.

All 18 offices up for election in 2021 were last up for election in 2017. Mayor Mike Duggan won re-election against one opponent in the general election with 71.6% of the vote. City Clerk Janice Winfrey also won election to a new term that year, as did eight of the nine city council members who ran for re-election. Three of the seven members of the Board of Police Commissioners also won re-election.

Detroit is the largest city in Michigan and the 19th-largest city in the U.S. by population.

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Costa Constantinides resigns from New York City Council

Costa Constantinides resigned from the New York City Council on April 9 after announcing he would leave to take a position as CEO of the Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens on March 31. Constantinides had served as the District 22 representative since 2013. His current term was set to expire on Dec. 31, 2021.

The New York City Council is the city’s primary legislative body. It is responsible for adopting the city budget, approving mayoral appointees, overseeing the use of municipal properties, levying taxes, and making or amending city laws, policies, and ordinances.

The New York City Council is composed of 51 members, each of whom are elected in partisan elections by the city’s fifty-one districts. The current partisan composition is 45 Democrats and three Republicans with three vacancies. The city’s charter requires Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) to schedule a special election to fill the vacancy left by Constantinides’ departure.

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Wisconsin general election to be held April 6

The statewide general election for Wisconsin is on April 6. The primary was held on Feb. 16, and the filing deadline to run passed on Jan. 5. Candidates are running in elections for the following offices: 

• Superintendent of Public Instruction

• Special elections for state Senate District 13 and Assembly District 89

• Wisconsin Court of Appeals

Ballotpedia is also covering local elections in the following areas: 

• Dane and Milwaukee Counties

• The cities of Madison and Milwaukee

• DeForest Area School District

• Madison Metropolitan School District

• McFarland School District

• Middleton-Cross Plains School District

• Milwaukee Public Schools

• Sun Prairie Area School District

• Verona Area School District

Milwaukee is the 31st-largest city in the United States by population, while Madison is the 82nd. The seven school districts holding elections on April 6 served 132,027 students during the 2016-2017 school year.

Wisconsin has a divided government where no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Republicans control the state Assembly and Senate, while Governor Tony Evers is a Democrat.

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12 candidates file for three city council seats in Lincoln, Nebraska

The filing deadline for candidates interested in running for three at-large seats on the city council in Lincoln, Nebraska, was March 5, 2021. The nonpartisan primary election will be held on April 6, and the general election will be held on May 4. All three seats are for four-year terms.

Twelve candidates—incumbent Roy Christensen, incumbent Sändra Washington, incumbent Bennie Shobe, Mary Hilton, Aurang Zeb, Elina Newman, Joseph Swanson, Maggie Mae Squires, Tom Beckius, Eric Burling, Trevor Reilly, and Peter Kolozsy—will face off in the primary. The top six vote-getters will advance to the general election.

Although city council elections in Lincoln are officially nonpartisan, candidates can file with a party affiliation. Incumbent Christensen has served on the city council since 2013 and identifies with the Republican Party. Incumbent Shobe was elected in 2017 and identifies as a member of the Democratic Party. Incumbent Washington was appointed to the council in 2019 and identifies with the Democratic Party.

In addition to Shobe and Washington, Beckius and Zeb identified with the Democratic Party. In addition to Christensen, Burling and Hilton identified with the Republican Party. Reilly identified as a Libertarian, and Kolozsy, Newman, Squires, and Swanson identified as nonpartisan.

Lincoln is the 71st largest city by population in the United States. Ballotpedia will also be covering the two Lincoln Airport Authority board of directors seats on the ballot in 2021. Incumbents Bob Selig and John Hoppe Jr. did not file for re-election.

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Three candidates file for city council special election in Garland, Texas

The city of Garland, Texas, will hold a nonpartisan special election for District 1 on the Garland City Council on May 1, 2021. The filing deadline for the special election was March 1.

Jeff Bass, John Grimley, and Angie Whitney will face off in the special election. The seat is currently held by Ricky McNeal. He was appointed to the seat in December 2020 to replace David Gibbons. He will hold the seat until the May 1 election.

Ballotpedia will also be covering the Garland mayoral race and four other city council seats on the May 1 ballot. The filing deadline for those races was February 12. Garland is the 87th largest city by population in the United States.

Thirty-one mayoral elections are being held in the 100 largest U.S. cities in 2021. As of March 2021, the partisan breakdown of the mayors of the 100 largest U.S. cities was 64 Democrats, 25 Republicans, four independents, and seven nonpartisans.

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23 candidates file to run for mayor, city council in Arlington, Texas

The filing deadline for candidates interested in running for mayor and city council member in Arlington, Texas, was February 12, 2021. The nonpartisan general election is scheduled for May 1.

Eight candidates—Doni Anthony, Kelly Burke, former city councilmember Michael Glaspie, Cirilo Ocampo Jr., Jim Ross, District 3 city councilmember Marvin Sutton, Jerry Warden, and Dewayne Washington—filed to replace Jeff Williams as mayor. Williams was elected as mayor of Arlington in 2015 and is unable to run for re-election in 2021 due to term limits.

In total, 15 candidates filed to run for four seats on the Arlington City Council.

District 3

Tamiko Brown, Nikkie Hunter, Alixis Lupien, Diana Saleh, and Dora Tovar filed to run for this open seat. Incumbent Marvin Sutton was elected to the seat in 2019. He filed to run for mayor instead of running for re-election.

District 4

Incumbent Andrew Piel will face Hunter Crow, Billy McClendon Jr., Nehal Mehta, Anne Nwaefulu, and Cheyenne Zokaie in the general election. Piel was elected to this seat in 2019.

District 5

Rebecca Boxall and Kennedy Jones filed to run for this open seat. Incumbent Ignacio Nunez was elected to this seat in 2019. He did not file for re-election.

District 8

Incumbent Barbara Odom-Wesley will face Chris Dobson in the general election. Odom-Wesley was elected to the seat in 2019.

Arlington is the 50th largest city by population in the United States. Thirty-one mayoral elections are being held in the 100 largest U.S. cities in 2021. As of February 2021, the partisan breakdown of the mayors of the 100 largest U.S. cities was 64 Democrats, 25 Republicans, four independents, and seven nonpartisans.

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Special election approaches Feb. 23 in New York City Council District 31

The special general election for New York City Council District 31 is on February 23, 2021. Nine candidates are competing in the special election. The filing deadline to run passed on December 16, 2020. 

The special election was called when Donovan Richards left office after he was elected Queens Borough President in November. Richards served on the city council from 2013 to 2020.

The February 23 election will be the second election in New York City to use a ranked-choice voting system. In 2019, New Yorkers passed a ballot measure that instituted ranked-choice voting in special elections to local offices.

In ranked-choice voting, voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First preference votes cast for the failed candidate are eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority. 

Ranked-choice voting in New York City is the subject of an ongoing court challenge. On December 16, 2020, a state trial court declined to block the implementation of ranked-choice voting, but the decision is being appealed.  

The New York City Council consists of 51 members. New York is the largest city by population in the U.S.

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Burlington, Vermont voters will decide on March 2 whether to adopt ranked-choice voting for city council elections

On March 2, Burlington, Vermont voters will decide Question 4, a measure to implement ranked-choice voting for city council elections beginning in March 2022.

The Burlington City Council attempted to place a ranked-choice voting measure on the November 2020 ballot, but it was vetoed by Mayor Miro Weinberger (D) after receiving a 6-5 vote from the city council. It would have implemented RCV for city council, mayoral, and school commissioner elections. The council amended the measure to only include city council elections and reconsidered it for the March 2021 ballot. It was approved on September 22, 2020. Mayor Weinberger signed the measure on October 3, 2020. 

The vote will be the first time the city voters decide on RCV after repealing it in 2010. In 2005, Burlington voters amended the city’s charter to implement RCV—referred to as instant runoff—for mayoral elections. The 2005 measure was approved by 64% to 36%. It was used in the 2006 and 2009 mayoral elections.

On March 2, 2010, voters repealed ranked-choice by a vote of 52% to 48%. The measure to repeal ranked-choice voting was placed on the ballot through a ballot initiative petition drive after the 2009 mayoral election.

The Yes on 4: Better Ballot Burlington campaign is co-chaired by Former Governor Howard Dean (D) and City Councilmember Zoraya Hightower (Vermont Progressive Party). Hightower said, “I believe [RCV] helps elect leaders that are more representative of our city and cities across the country.” Mayor Weinberger opposes the amended measure saying, “[Prior use of ranked-choice voting] led to campaigns being very hesitant to define differences and distinctions between themselves on substance because of concerns of alienating second and third votes from other candidates. I was a campaign chair of a mayoral election during that period. I just don’t think it worked well.”

A ranked-choice voting system (RCV) is an electoral system in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First-preference votes cast for the failed candidate are eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority.

As of 2021, one state (Maine) had implemented RCV at the state level, one state (Alaska) had adopted but not implemented RCV, eight states contained jurisdictions that had implemented RCV at some level, and another five states contained jurisdictions—including New York City—that had adopted but not yet implemented RCV in local elections.

All active registered Burlington voters will be receiving an absentee ballot the week of February 8. Voters may return their absentee ballot by mail, drop box, or at an election polling place on March 2. Polling places will be open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on election day. Voters may register to vote in-person on election day.

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