Ramseur, NC -- The electoral element of our democracy comes in a familiar pattern, you get the candidates, you vote in the primary to cut down the number of candidates for the final ballot, and then make your decisive vote in the general election.
Well, like everything else, elections are costly. Not just for the candidates but the municipalities hosting the process.
The election price tag, which can run in the thousands of dollars, is hurting at least one small Triad town.
The town of Ramseur, in Randolph County, has adopted a resolution of intent to pursue getting rid of their local primaries.
It's a process that's legal in North Carolina and many municipalities have changed their charters to do so.
High Point did it three years ago.
Local elections have an option of a "Non-Partisan Primary Election" - which is what Ramseur has now.
It requires the town to hold a primary if there are more than two candidates running for a single seat.
Officials in Ramseur want to change that to "Non-Partisan Plurality Election" - that option throws everyone who is running into one big general election race and whoever comes out with the most votes wins.
The small town officials explain that their reasoning for pursuing the second option came in their last mayoral race.
After the mayoral primary, the county charged the town about $2,600. The amount, according to Town Administrator Kevin Franklin, was almost twice as much as it cost to declare a winner in the general election.
"The big issue here is cost. And is there an opportunity to save some money for the taxpaying citizens in Ramseur," Franklin said.
Well, some city leaders in High Point don't think the process is as simple and cost effective as it sounds.
Mayor Rebecca Smothers and the At-Large City Councilman Latimer Alexander told News 2 over the phone that three years later, the plurality method fell short of their expectations.
Alexander went on to call the process "a huge mistake" for their town
"We lost the benefit of having a primary and then getting the highest quality candidates to get a majority of votes from the electorates," the councilman explained.
He said with more candidates, those running could win with just 25 percent of the votes - and can't really say they are the choice of the majority of the town's voters.
The mayor adds that, they actually haven't saved as much money as they thought they would either. Since their elections fall on even numbered years, they have to share costs with other towns in Guilford County.
In response, Franklin says their situation is different and he expects much favorable results for Ramseur.
He says they've only had two primaries in at least the last 30 years - which means the primary requirement is rarely triggered anyway.
Ramseur will hold a public hearing on this idea to eliminate the primary on May 7th.
If the townspeople support the move, they could have the new charter in place in June.
WFMY News 2