Civic Leaders Eye Instant Runoff Elections

Adrienne LaFrance/Civil Beat

After a tiny fraction of District 1 voters turned out to elect incoming City Council member Tom Berg, city leadersĀ are speaking out about how to prevent such an election in the future.

Just 4.3 percent of registered voters selected Berg in the Dec. 29 election from a field of 14 candidates, according to a Civil Beat analysis. Mayor Peter Carlisle and some City Council members say, as a result, they're open to the possibility of changing the law to require instant runoffs in special elections. (Read related Civil Beat article.)

"Well, I was elected in a special election, too, but it's worth looking into," Carlisle told Civil Beat. "It's an interesting and intriguing idea. I don't think you can put a gun to people's head and force them to do their civic duty, and I do agree with the runoff concept."

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