WBTV Speak Out Editorial: Improving Runoff Elections - | WBTV Charlotte

WBTV Speak Out Editorial: Improving Runoff Elections


"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.

Well, another primary season has come and gone and now it's on to the general election.

You may not have noticed, but there was a primary runoff last month here in North Carolina.

Fewer than 5% of registered voters showed up at the polls – and there were some hotly-contested races.

If your candidate didn't win, sorry.

But just think how much better his or her chances would have been if supporters had actually taken time to vote.

This poor turnout is not surprising.

Runoff elections repeatedly draw fewer voters than general or primary elections.

But should candidates be chosen by just 5% of the populace?

So, what do we do?

A couple of ideas have been floated on how to solve the runoff quandary.

First, don't have a runoff.

Whoever garners the most votes in the primary is declared the winner, even if he or she didn't receive the currently-required 40% of the vote.

A second possibility is what's been called an "instant runoff."

You vote for your top two or three choices.

In case your candidate doesn't do all that well, you select your second or third favorite.

From that, we hopefully get a palatable nominee.

We're not sure that either method is the ultimate solution.

But, they're better than wasting tons of time and money on runoffs where no one shows up to vote.

Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com




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