County Referendum 4: Changes to the electoral process

This fourth referendum proposes some procedural changes to county elections: not counting the votes for candidates who are unable to stay in the race through the election (either because they drop out, are disqualified, or pass away), and deeming a person who runs unopposed the elected winner once the qualifying period is over.

Here’s the official wording:

Shall the charter be amended to provide that when a candidate for county commission or mayor withdraws, becomes disqualified, or becomes deceased prior to an election no votes cast for such candidate shall be counted and that when a candidate for county commission or mayor is unopposed in an election after the close of qualification such candidate shall be deemed elected to office?

This change could reduce the number of items on increasingly long, confusing ballots.

If you vote yes, then in future county elections unopposed candidates will be elected automatically, way before election day. And if a candidate is no longer in a particular race, the votes cast for that person won’t count, which means that candidates no longer in the race can’t accidentally throw off the election for the remaining candidates.

If you vote no, the charter won’t change and the process will remain the same. Votes cast for candidates who end up leaving a race will count, and unopposed candidates will still appear on the ballot.