Metro is spending big on special elections...Is there an easy fix?

Aug 10, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The resignation of former Mayor Megan Barry back in March continues to disrupt Metro government.

Nashville Councilwoman sheri Weiner and Councilman Jim Shulman will face off in the Metro Vice Mayor runoff election September 6.
Credit nashville.gov

None of the candidates running for the Metro Vice Mayor’s post managed to earn a majority of votes during the August 2 General Election, forcing the city to plan a runoff election.

Davidson County Elections Administrator Jeff Roberts says that special election is now scheduled for September 6. He also says the run off is going to cost more taxpayers dollars than he currently has in his yearly budget.

“Our initial estimate is $750,000, but that’s our early estimate. We really won’t know for sure till the election commission takes action to actually set the early voting hours and locations.”

Metro Councilman Freddie O’Connell says the runoff will likely disrupt council business. He notes the need for a run off leaves Pro Tem Sherri Weiner no longer eligible to lead council sessions.

“Technically her term comes to an end before the election. So I actually don’t know, as I talk to you today, what is going to happen in the chamber to resolve that while we wait on this runoff to play out.”

O’Connell wants Metro Council to consider altering the City Charter to allow for what’s called instant-runoff voting. It’s a system used by a handful of cities nationwide and the State of Maine.

When voters go to the polls they choose a candidate as usual, but they also rank the remaining candidates in their order of preference. If no candidate wins an outright majority, a winner is chosen using those rankings.