Monday, March 8, 2010

Municipal Election Recap

Santa Fe- Neither Ranked Choice Voting nor Public Campaign Financing were used in this election, in spite of being approved by a vast majority of voters in 2008. Technological reasons are delaying Ranked Choice, as the ES&S machines used are not capable of performing the operation, and there is a reluctance to hand tally ballots after the election. As it turns out, all the contested races were won by the incumbents with a majority of the votes.

The Public Campaign Financing ordinance was passed by the council last fall, and is scheduled to begin with the 2012 election. However, there has been no appropriation to begin the fund, which by ordinance must have at least $300,000 in it at the beginning of the election cycle.

One interesting idea brought up as a campaign issue is at large districts for our council. Russell Simon suggested going to four council members elected from districts and four council members elected at large, meaning all voters have a vote for them as in mayor and judge elections. It is an idea worth investigating.

Las Vegas- The municipal home rule charter passed with 56%, and includes trraditional run off voting and a couple of other election code changes. There is some question in the city clerk's office as to whether this counts as an amendment to the existing charter, thereby requiring 60% to pass, but the Municipal League and others seem confident that since the new charter completely replaces the old one, it is a new charter and requires only 50% to pass.

Rio Rancho- Rio Rancho experimented with a new voting method on Election Day this year. Rather than having a polling place for each precinct, they had voting centers strategically placed around the city. Any city voter could go to any voting center and be given a ballot for their precinct.

Finally, as an election judge, I had several people ask me how they know their votes would be accurately tabulated. Our state has excellent audit requirements for state and federal elections, but none exist for municipal elections. I believe people would like to see municipal elections included in our audit laws and I hope we can see that come to pass over the next two years.