Huntsville's municipal election receives low voter turnout

Secretary of State John Merrill told WAAY 31 every city decides when it wants to hold its municipal election.

Posted: Aug 28, 2018 4:50 PM
Updated: Aug 28, 2018 7:20 PM

Today is the General Municipal Election, there are four races on the ballot in Huntsville, Scottsboro and one in Muscle Shoals.

WAAY 31 stopped by a Huntsville polling location to explain why these election weren't combined with the June Primaries.

Secretary of State John Merrill explained it's confusing to hold multiple elections on the same day if they’re not related even if that means low voter turnout.

"It's not a big deal to me to drive over here to vote," said voter Janet Petersen.

Many voters WAAY 31 don't mind several elections a year, even if a low turnout doesn’t support that statement.

"This is a privilege we have in our Country. I feel like we are really foolish to not keep that privilege and use it," said voter Sohia Berwell.

Secretary of State John Merrill told WAAY 31 every city decides when it wants to hold its municipal election.

"The local elections are where you should start," Petersen said.

If the municipal election was the same day as the general election or primaries you’d have to fill out multiple ballots, but it would save the city tens of thousands of dollars,"

Federal, state and county elections are on one ballot because they’re all structured the same way.

But the people WAAY 31 spoke on Tuesday said they think the municipal election is just as important because it plays a big role in local tax money.

"The city streets are very important to us. Our neighborhood is very important to us," Petersen said.

"We need to keep those good leaders that work together and try to promote Huntsville and bring it forward and do good things for our education and all of the citizens of this area," Berwell said.

If need be, there'll be a scheduled run off 6 weeks from today in October. The general election is on Tuesday November 6th.

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