Why was Folly Beach’s Municipal Election Moved From April 2024 to November 2023?

Fellow Citizens – This month I will forego my typical message and instead provide this late breaking announcement of the timeline for our upcoming election now scheduled for November 7, 2023

The SC House unanimously passed House Bill 3734 in April 2023 and the bill is currently residing in the Senate Committee on Judiciary. It is likely that the SC Senate will pass the bill in the next session. The bill contains the following:  

The time for general elections within a municipality must be established on odd‑numbered years as follows:

(1) on the third Tuesday in March;

(2) on the first Tuesday in July; or

(3) on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November.

The Charleston County Board of Elections and Voter Regstration currently conducts the City’s elections and has stated it will no longer support local or general election activities should the City fail to change the date of local elections from April of even years to November of odd years. The City has the option of keeping the election date as it currently is but would accept the full administrative and financial burden of conducting elections. Assuming House Bill 3734 eventually passes, Folly Beach would then have no choice but to switch the election date to an odd numbered year. 

Consequently on 6/13/23 City Council passed Ordinance 012–23, an ordinance amending the Folly Beach Code of Ordinances, Chapter 31 City Government,  by changing the date of future mayoral and council elections from April of even years to November of odd years and transferring authority to conduct the future elections to the Charleston County Board of Elections.  City Council had the option of moving the April 2024 election sooner by about 6 months to November 2023 or delaying it  by approximately 18 months to November 2025. The City Council decided to move the election date to November 2023.

What does this mean?

The City’s next election will be on November 7, 2023 thus changing the expiration of three Council seats from April 2024 to November 2023.

The City’s next election after 2023 will be on November 4, 2025 thus changing the expiration of three Council seats and the Mayor seat from April 2026 to November 4, 2025