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Chatham County Seeks Applicants for Commissioner Election Task Force

Post Date:03/22/2018 1:39 PM

On March 19, 2018, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners authorized the formation of a temporary task force to study and develop recommendations for possible expansion of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners and how members are elected. The deadline to apply to serve on the task force is Monday, April 16, 2018, 5 PM.

The Board of Commissioners will appoint nine registered Chatham County voters to the task force, including three registered Republicans, three registered Democrats, and three registered as unaffiliated. The task force likely will be appointed in May 2018 and could report back as soon as July 2018. The task force is charged with looking at the various methods of election of county commissioners to identify any recommended changes.

The task force will explore the pros and cons of expanding the board to seven members as well as district versus at-large seats. Currently, Chatham County is divided into five commissioner districts, with one commissioner seat assigned to each district. While a commissioner candidate must live in a specific district, they are chosen by all voters in the county, not just those living in their district. This is called the district/at-large combination method.

Several counties in North Carolina use the same method as Chatham County, but others use: 

  • At-large: Every seat runs countywide with no districts involved.
  • District: Every seat is assigned to a specific district and voting is limited to those living in the district.
  • Combinations: Various other combinations of at-large and district seats exist across the state.

Over several months, the task force will review information available and hear from experts on sizes of boards and how they are elected. From this work, members will develop recommendations to the Board of Commissioners, which could include one or more options. The selection would require a countywide referendum.

  If you are interested in serving on the task force, please complete and submit the online application form or contact Lindsay Ray at 919-545-8302 or email The deadline to apply is April 16, 2018 at 5 PM.

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