VINELAND — City residents voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to change the municipality's nonpartisan elections from May to November.

Unofficial vote totals show the referendum was approved by a vote of 6,135 to 1,233, but the referendum question was nonbinding, meaning city officials are not bound by the result.

Mayor Robert Romano said he was not surprised by the results.

"People wanted to save money (on election costs)," he said.

The city spends about $80,000 on a May elections, and then has other costs related to the November elections.

City officials now will use the result to figure out whether the election will be moved.

Candidates do not run under a designated party in a nonpartisan election. Twenty-two of the 86 municipalities in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Ocean counties hold nonpartisan elections.

The Legislature earlier this year passed a law allowing local governments that hold May nonpartisan elections to hold those elections in November beginning in 2011.

City voters elect a mayor and City Council members every four years. The city's next election will be held in 2012.