KINGMAN – The City fell into line with state Legislature modifications to the method of calculating votes during the primary election at its meeting Tuesday, a move that City Attorney Carl Cooper said would effectively require candidates to receive a “little bit less” of the vote to acquire a seat.
Before Tuesday, Kingman’s City Code dealt with primary elections in terms of votes received for mayor.
“For any person, you’d have to get 50 percent of the number of votes that the mayor received plus one,” Cooper said about the former calculation method. “What this does is under state statute, it’s not based on the mayor’s position, it’s based on the particular seat or seats that are open.”
For example, there are three open Council seats in the upcoming election. The new calculation is done by adding together the number of votes made for each candidate and then dividing that number by the number of open seats, in this case three. That figure is then divided by two and represents the required vote threshold to sit on Council. The formula includes write-in candidates.
Cooper said along with reducing the threshold for votes required, it increases the likelihood that candidates will get picked up in the primary election rather than having to move along to the general election.
“So it should make the elections a little bit quicker, too,” he said.
Sydney Muhle, City clerk, told Council that had this method of calculation been adopted by the last election, all Council seats would have been filled in the primary election.
“So we wouldn’t have had to go to a general election, but we had not adopted this yet,” Muhle said. “It had just happened at the previous legislative session, and we hadn’t caught our ordinance up with it.”
Council unanimously approved the modification to City code.