Memphis runoff elections cost at least $300,000 and very few people are voting

Local Elections

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Got a little secret for you. There’s an election going on. Yeah, right here in Memphis as a matter of fact. A runoff election for two Memphis City Council districts.

If you didn’t know anything about it, you’re not alone.

In District One, incumbent Sherman Greer is running against Rhonda Logan. In District Seven, it’s incumbent Berlin Boyd against Michalyn Easter-Thomas.

The tension is so thick you can cut it with a dull butter knife. How ’bout that voter turnout Linda Phillips, Shelby County Election Administrator?

“Uh, very low,” she said. “As of last night, 1.23% of the registered voters had voted,” she answered.

We actually did find some voters at the Raleigh Methodist Church, one of six early voting locations. There was nobody at the downtown location.

It doesn’t make any difference if you show up or not. Memphis taxpayers are going to have to pay for all of this.

“Close to $300,000,” Linda Phillips says. “We have to pay our early vote workers $15 an hour. We have all workers on election day. We have a help desk. We have to deliver equipment. We have to rent the spaces.”

You folks voted in 2008 and last year to have instant runoff voting. Some call it ranked choice voting.

University of Memphis Law Professor Steve Mulroy, a former Shelby County Commissioner, calls what’s happening now ridiculous.

“All of that money is flushed down the toilet,” he says, “… because the City Council refuses to engage to develop ranked choice voting, even though the voters have voted for it multiple times.”

State election officials say ranked choice voting is illegal. Mulroy and others are planning court challenges to that decision.

Early voting ends Saturday. Election day is Thursday, November 14th.

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