Charlotte Local Election 2022 for City Council, Mayor


Foot traffic was light at polling places in Charlotte on Tuesday as voters cast their ballots in the 2022 general election for mayor and city council.

Polling stations are open until 7:30 p.m. Any registered voters queuing at closing time can still vote after that time.

The Charlotte Observer traveled to precincts across the city to speak to voters, including those voting in Districts 6 and 2. The timing of the election is expected to result in low voter turnout.

As the Observer reported earlier this month, this is an unusual time for municipal elections. Election day for municipal races is normally in November and in odd-numbered years. But delays in reporting U.S. census data pushed last year’s election to the summer.

Many political observers consider the race in District 6 to be the most competitive local race this year, with Democratic challenger Stephanie Hand taking on Republican Tariq Bokhari. Republican voters at the polls on Tuesday, backing incumbent President Bokhari, said more conservative votes were needed on the Charlotte City Council.

In District 2, Malcolm Graham, an incumbent Democrat, faces a challenge from Republican Mary Lineberger Barnett.

Ward 49, Park Road Montessori School

At Precinct 49, Park Road Montessori School in District 6, the polling station was quite empty in the morning. Myers Park resident Tim Hansley said he supported Bokhari.

Transportation, crime and homelessness are some of the issues the city needs to improve on, according to Hansley. “There’s a long list of things we need to address,” he said.

Hansley thinks the development of the city has been good. “I’m in real estate and I think development was something they took care of,” he said.

Precinct 8, Myers Park Traditional Elementary School

In Precinct 8 of District 6, Myers Park Traditional Elementary School, voters entered at a steady pace.

Myers Park resident Jenny Ward voted because of the Comprehensive Plan 2040, the plan that will guide development and investment in the city for the next two decades, and the Unified Development Ordinance, a set of regulations that will guide the future development of the city.

Ward supports affordable and equitable housing. “I think our city, like many cities in the United States, is at a time where we have to make different decisions that work for everyone,” she said.

Janine and Mike Berry are other Myers Park residents who came out to vote because of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. She believes the city needs to improve taxes, police funding and government restrictions.

Janine thinks the timing of the election will have a negative impact on voter turnout because many people are out of town.

“We’re very excited about Tariq Bokhari because we’ve had so many emails from him,” Mike said.

Precinct 12, Wallace Pruitt Recreation Center

At Precinct 12 in District 2, the Wallace Pruitt Recreation Center, arrived sporadically after 4:30 p.m.

Sandra West held her son in one arm and her daughter’s hand in the other. The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and all the local implications were a major issue that drew her to the polls.

“The whole stripping of women’s rights, family rights…every level of government touches that, you know?” West says.

West told the Observer that she wanted to make sure “my family and my children, the people who matter to me, have a voice.”

Taylor Florio stressed the importance of local political engagement.

“I love voting for local leaders just because I don’t think when I was younger I paid that much attention to them,” Florio said.

Florio said economic mobility, affordable housing and transportation guided his vote. She told the Observer that she plans to vote for Democratic candidates.

Ted Tarver sits on the board of the Biddleville-Smallwood Neighborhood Association. So voting is a matter of course for him. The election of the mayor was of particular importance.

“I just want to make sure things are on the current course,” he said.

Tarver said he wants the city council to better regulate development and increase affordable housing, but it’s “doubtful” the council will actually do that.

He said his current council member, Malcolm Graham, “means well,” but he hasn’t responded to demands from his constituents. Tarver claimed that Graham never showed up for neighborhood association meetings despite numerous invitations.

Other voters in Precinct 12 cited housing, traffic and public safety as their top issues.

Precinct 23, Bishop Spaugh Community Academy

The Precinct 23 voting area in District 2 was a maze to find, but voters eventually made it to the elementary school auditorium.

Josh Few said he was hopeful of voting in a younger generation of candidates who had his best interests in mind. Traffic and rent are its main problems.

Virtually none of Few’s friends knew about the election, he said.

“There’s no mass movement to get people to vote, which I think needs to happen,” Few said.

Davyoneda Mackey made similar observations. This year’s city council and mayoral election was more “silent and moderate,” Mackey said.

Born and raised in West Charlotte, Mackey said gentrification was her biggest concern. His mother owns 3 acres of land and developers call her regularly to ask her to buy her property and build.

Mackey also said getting around and stopping the violence was important to her.

Charlotte elections 2022

From the previous cover:

About 28,000 people, less than 5% of Charlotte’s registered voters, cast their ballots early.

Mayor Vi Lyles is running for re-election against Republican Stephanie of Sarachaga-Bilbao. There are also eight candidates vying for city council seats, who represent and are elected by the entire city, rather than a single district.

Voters can choose four candidates on the general ballot.

Incumbent Democrats Dimple Ajmera and Braxton Winston are up for re-election. They and two former City Council members James (Smuggie) Mitchell and LaWana Slack-Mayfield, both Democrats, face four Republicans: Kyle J. Luebke, David Merrill, Charlie Mulligan and Carrie Olinski.

Three of the seven Charlotte District City Council members face opposition: Democrat Malcolm Graham in District 2, who faces Republican Mary Lineberger Barnett; Democrat Victoria Watlington in District 3, who faces Republican James H. Bowers; and Republican Tariq Bokhari in District 6, which takes on Democrat Stephanie Hand.

This story was originally published July 26, 2022 11:18 a.m.

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Lorenza Medley is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is currently intern at CharlotteFive. When she’s not lost in the aisles of a library, you can find her eating barbecued ribs or exploring her local target.


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