Poor voter turnout for city elections

Posted November 13, 2013 at 10:15 am

By Kim Brooks, Express Editor

Last Tuesday, Nov. 5, the City Elections were held.

The City of Monticello had four council seats open and the mayoral position. All candidates running were unopposed.

Voter turnout in Monticello amounted to 5.1 percent, with 134 people going to the polls out of 2,611 registered voters.

Dena Himes was re-elected mayor for a second term with 122 votes. Dave Goedken was re-elected Council At Large with 111 votes. Tom Yeoman was also re-elected to Council Ward 4 with 41 votes. New council members elected to fill seats were Teresa Clemmons for Ward 2 with 33 votes and Frank Yanda for Ward 1 with 29 votes. Yanda fills a vacancy and will be sworn in before the next council meeting. Clemmons, replacing Council member John Sauser, will be sworn in after the first of the year.

Voter turnout was expected to be low for the City Elections. One reason, there were no contested races here in Monticello.

An editorial written by former Monticello Express Editor Mike Kent that appeared in the Oct. 23, 1985 Express said it well: “Past history shows that city elections usually have lower than normal voter turnout. For whatever reasons, voters seem less eager when local elections are held.

“As a voter, you are more directly affected by a city election as opposed to a state or national election.

“You may not see the results when a decision is made on defense spending. However, you can clearly see the results when a city council votes on a sewer or street repair project - especially when that project affects your neighborhood.

“Not only can your vote in a city election make a difference, it can also show you how that difference can be made the next time a street or sewer or sewer project comes your way.”