Municipal elections are conducted in November of "odd" years. All governing body elections are non-partisan with officials elected by simple plurality. There are no primaries to choose a nominee or run off elections. The Board of Elections conducts all elections for the thirteen municipalities.
There are four city councils that are divided into wards. Residency in a ward for a candidate is required; however, the vote is citywide or at-large. Candidates for nine cities/towns run on an at-large basis with residency within in the town/city required. With term lengths they are as follows:
The mayors of Belmont, Cramerton, Gastonia, Ranlo and McAdenville are elected for 4 year terms. The rest are elected for 2 year terms. A person must be a registered voter in the municipality to file for office, at least 21 years of age, and a resident of the ward (if applicable) for 30 days prior to the election. There are no party affiliation requirements in the elections.