- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Some legislators want to move elections for North Carolina’s towns and cities from odd-numbered years to even-numbered years.

By a party-line vote in favor of Republicans, the House approved Thursday night a wide-ranging bill that says it’s the General Assembly’s intent to shift the municipal elections cycle beginning in 2020.

An oversight committee would study the idea and make recommendations how to do it. Additional legislation would have to pass later to implement the shift.

Municipal elections usually have lower turnout than even-numbered years with federal, statewide and legislative races. Democrats have performed well in recent big-city municipal elections.

Thursday’s bill also would require the attorney general to defend the General Assembly in lawsuits challenging local laws it passes. The bill now returns to the Senate.

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