City Council Primaries Generate Dismal Turnout

How bad was turnout for the city election primary? Six of the 10 candidates who got to the general election got there with less than 300 votes. As a comparison (we called to check) state Sen. Tim Burchett, a candidate for County Mayor next year, has more than 300 voter contacts in his cell phone.

There are various theories about why few people turn out to vote in city elections. Some say it's because the City Council is working smoothly and is usually free (barring gun bills) of controversy, unlike county government. In recent years the city has also turned over its schools, libraries, and health department to the county.

Efforts to put city elections in the same cycle with county elections to increase turnout have been defeated because it is often argued that city elections would get lost in the shuffle. Unlike the clamoring public attention they are getting this year.

Early voting is under way until Oct. 29. Election Day is Nov. 3.