Nancy Drew – The Case Of The Missing Election

Nancy Drew is a fictional amateur sleuth in the series written for girls after the great success of The Hardy Boys. She lives in the fictional town of River Heights with her father, attorney Carson Drew, and their housekeeper, Hannah Gruen. As a teenager, she spends her time-solving mysteries. Nancy is often described as a supergirl. In the words of one of the characters, Bobbie Ann Mason, she is “as immaculate and self-possessed as a Miss America on tour. She is as cool as Mata Hari and as sweet as Betty Crocker.” Nancy is well-off, attractive, and amazingly talented. Why wouldn’t I pick her to be the detective on the case of The Missing Election?

From her notes, Nancy Drew is offering below a few facts of the case. She is quoted as saying, “The postponement of the election of four seats on the City Council in 2021 is the last thing Rocky Mount NC needs. It is bad enough that at least two of the seven seats continue to hold the city hostage with their ‘My Will Be Done’ agenda, but adding another year without the opportunity to fill those seats with new leadership is unthinkable. The chance that the City Council would vote to hold the election at their own peril is unlikely.”

Census delay likely to postpone city elections
AMELIA HARPER Staff Writer Feb 23, 2021 (Excerps)
Nash County Elections Director John Kearney said Monday during a meeting of the Nash County Board of Elections that due to delays in the release of 2020 U.S. Census data, this year’s election in Rocky Mount likely will be postponed.

“It is anticipated that the 2020 census data will not be available until September, so that means that none of the towns or council members or anyone else is going to be able to get that data to work on redistricting,” he said. “The main issue here is the City of Rocky Mount because it has wards.”

“The U.S. Census Bureau delayed its field operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic and asked Congress for authority to delay the release of census data by 120 days,” the statement said. “This would delay the release of data used by North Carolina for redistricting legislative and congressional seats and local offices elected by district. This would compress the timeline for redistricting. If changes are needed to the districts of municipal offices elected by district and the census data is not released in time, elections for these offices scheduled to take place in the fall of 2021 could be postponed until 2022.” Because of this, Kearney said he is “99.9 percent sure that the City of Rocky Mount elections will not be held until the primary election of 2022.”

“I can’t do filing before the redistricting is done and the City of Rocky Mount cannot address redistricting until the census data is released,” Kearney said. “The normal filing period for the City of Rocky Mount elections normally begins on July 26, well before the time that the census data will be released.”

Kearney said in a later interview it is possible that the City Council could decide to proceed with the elections with the current wards. However, that decision would likely open up the likelihood of a slew of lawsuits, he said.

Four City Council seats are up for election this year: the Ward 2 seat occupied by Reuben Blackwell; the Ward 3 seat held by Richard Joyner; the Ward 6 seat occupied by W.B. Bullock and the Ward 7 seat held by Chris Miller.

Further Research Shows The process remains in the State Legislature’s control.

In 25 states, the state legislature has primary responsibility for creating a redistricting plan, in many cases subject to approval by the state governor. In North Carolina, state lawmakers will play a significant role in that effort in the months to come.

The 2020 census results should be released this spring. Once they are, the Republican-led legislature will begin drawing new political maps that would be used through the 2030 elections. The census will likely show North Carolina is one of the fastest-growing states in the country. That’s expected to lead to an extra seat in Congress, increasing the House delegation from 13 to 14 seats.

Nancy Drew will remain on the case of The Missing Election as long as necessary. Ms. Drew said, “The failure on the part of the US Census Bureau to finish their work on time is preposterous. Those citizens that participated did their part. Using Covid as an excuse is not acceptable. In Rocky Mount’s case, the postponement of the fall election only prolongs the price the taxpayers are paying under the ‘My Will Be Done’ agenda with characters that have stayed long enough in office.”