On 3 December 2013, a runoff election was held in the City of Cedar Rapids and 8.75% of the registered voters cast a ballot. Yesterday, 20.29% (unofficial) of the City’s registered voters cast a ballot. The irony in the 2013 Runoff is that the top vote getter (Swore) in the regular city election collected more votes (7,950) than were cast between the four candidates in the runoff (7,896). Maybe the framers of the Charter for the City of Cedar Rapids thought that less participation in a runoff was a great way for the runoff winners to begin their terms, but it is certainly no mandate by the voters.
Maybe Clark Rieke is right? He has been pushing instant runoff voting (IRV) aka ranked choice voting since I was nominated to run for county auditor in December of 2006. Maybe the Cedar Rapids Charter should be changed from a runoff election to a primary election? IRV is not an option in Iowa unless the Legislature changes our laws to allow it. And I do not see any incentive for a Charter Commission to change CR’s Charter. So what can I do to get every person engaged in local government?
The least I can do if to inform every household in the City of Cedar Rapids that we are having an election on December 5th. The Auditor’s Office will do that via the attached postcard or something similar. Far too often, eligible voters tell me that they did not know an election was coming. And who expects an election in December after Thanksgiving and before Christmas? We have not had an election in December in four years.
So I am going to bite the bullet and spend my budget on these postcards and hope the City of Cedar Rapids reimburses me for the cost. And if they do not, I will eat the cost.
My team and I are going to do our best to lower the obstacles to participate in the December 5th Cedar Rapids Runoff Election. You can do your part by voting early or on election day, and by encouraging your fellow Cedar Rapidians to vote. Please note, the decision to mail out these postcards is my decision and my decision alone. At this time, I have not received any requests or comments about the postcards because it was conceived by me. –Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor – Vision: Every person engaged in local government.