Election runoffs a key issue on ballots

Election runoffs a key issue on ballots

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - If you live in the City of Memphis, your midterm election ballot will include 3 referendums, two of which are on the issue of runoffs.

WMC political analyst Mike Nelson said if you answer yes to referendum three, then referendum two on how to execute a runoff is a moot point.

"Whoever gets the most votes on election day whether it's a majority or not that person is elected and runoffs are gone," Nelson said."

But if you are in favor of election runoffs, question two asks the voter how a runoff would work.

Voting yes would force a runoff election. Voting no would keep instant runoff voting in place, a three-name voting method for single district council seats that Memphians approved 10 years ago.

"Instead of having a second election if no one gets a majority of votes in a single member council district what you would do is ask voters on election day to rank their choice first second and third," Nelson said.

In recent weeks, we've heard from former Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy, who is for instant runoff voting. Memphis City Councilman Edmund Ford, Jr. is not.

"Instant runoff voting makes elections more competitive which incumbent politicians don't like," Mulroy said.

"The data shows it disenfranchises voters," Ford argued. "It disenfranchises those of a lower socio-economic status."

The issue of runoff and how to make them work will be in front of voters this election day.

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