Runoff election costs could be avoided

Published: Jun. 20, 2017 at 3:46 PM CDT
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Rapid City Ward 5 voters will head to polls again next week; this time in a runoff election between Laura Armstrong and incumbent Ron Sasso.

According to city ordinances, any time more than two people run for an office, the winning candidate must have 50 percent plus one vote.

Armstrong and Sasso were the top two candidates but since neither reached the 50 percent threshold, a special runoff election is set for June 27.

That extra cost to the city could be avoided if the ordinance is changed to allow a simple majority.

“In a three-way race, when one vote getter has 5 to 10 percent more than the other two, there is not a good record of those folks going into a run-off and losing, and so the city ordinance can be adjusted to elect the highest vote getter in a three-way race,” Mayor Steve Allender explained.

The mayor says other parts of the state already have regulations dealing with a three-candidate race where a simple majority would win, saving the cost of a runoff election.