Ballot Question Would End Runoff Elections

When voters go to the polls on Primary Day, they will be asked if they want to drop runoff elections, which can cost up to $60,000.

Should the city of Bradenton eliminate runoff elections for Mayor and City Council for a simpler plurality system that costs less money?

That ballot question will be posed to voters who head to the polls today.

Under the new system, races with multiple candidates would be declared by who gets the most votes, regardless of whether any candidate reaches 50 percent.

The Bradenton Herald noted that Florida adopted the change in its Constitution:

"In the 2010 primary, for example, Manatee County Commissioner Robin DiSabatino won a three-way race in the Republican primary with a plurality of votes," according to the Herald.

The Herald reported that runoff elections can be expensive, costing as much as $50,000 or $60,000, a bill that is shouldered by taxpayers.

The League of Women Voters is urging Bradenton voters not to adopt the measure. The organization noted in a written statement that the change would allow candidates with as little as 34 percent of the vote to win an election.

"The city is essentially creating a new voting envirornment, one in which a marginal candidate with factional backing can prevail in a large field of candidates," the League said.




Dona Lee August 14, 2012 at 08:14 PM
I voted To keep the runoff elections. Imagine the scenario: Mayor Poston, Councilwoman Barnaby, a no name tea party canidate, a Democrat, and Bill Evers running against each other. Because Mayor Poston and Councilwoman Baranaby have very similar agendas, they would split the vote of the centrist voters, the local Democrats would vote for their canidate, a few radical rights would vote for the tea party canidate, and Bill Evers, using his "good ole boys" network takes a simple majority at 28%. Voila! We are so screwed. It could happen without a runoff. The extra 40 to 60 thousand cost is worth avoiding a scenario of this type. Runoffs are not common, but they are necessary.


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