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Virginia Beach will not hold special election for vacant Kempsville seat

The Court of Appeals denied Virginia Beach's request to hold a special election using the old voting system that is now deemed illegal.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A special election will not happen this November.

The fourth circuit court of appeals denied Virginia Beach’s request to use a now-illegal voting system to find Kempsville’s next city council member.

“We will respect the law and we will work within it," Mayor Bobby Dyer said.

Dyer said the city attorney could appeal the Court of Appeals ruling to the Supreme Court, although he said that's unlikely.

By law, Virginia Beach city leaders are required to fill the open city council seat within 45 days after a resignation. So far, city leaders say two people submitted applications for the job.

“We just want to let people know that if you apply for the seat, you could be with us for a while," Dyer said.

Dyer said the person selected could serve until November 2022, because the special election isn't allowed.

Back in March, a federal judge ruled the way people vote in Virginia Beach is illegal because it prevents minority groups from electing candidates of their choice. Changes to the voting system are still in progress.

“There is still a lot of moving parts that are out there. Are we going to do things by voting precincts or not. We are kind of waiting for the outcome of, the final outcome of what's going to be determined. Whatever it is, we are going to deal with it and make the best of it," Dyer said.

The mayor said having someone fill the open Kempsville seat for longer than expected could become a blessing in disguise.

The City of Virginia Beach is encouraging any eligible voters in the Kempsville District to apply to take over the vacant city council position. The deadline is August 2.

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