Where The Votes Are: Bullet Votes
While voters in a Sarasota City Commission election on Tuesday were allowed to vote for two of eight candidates, more than 1,500 voters (almost 12 percent of votes cast) cast votes for just one person on the ballot according to an SRQ Where the Votes Are analysis of election returns. Employing a practice known as bullet-voting, many voters choose to forfeit a second vote in hopes of improving their top priority candidate’s standing in the final results.
The greatest beneficiary of the practice was Martin Hyde, who beat 4th place finisher Susan Chapman by just 54 votes to secure a place in the runoff. Jennifer Ahearn-Koch, the top vote-getter in the election, had the seventh-lowest percentage of her votes come from single-bullet voters. The top three vote-getters in the election—Ahearn-Koch, Hagen Brody and Hyde—advance to a runoff on May 9. Voters will again be able (but not compelled) to vote for two candidates.
SRQ Media Group on March 28 will host a precinct-by-precinct analysis of the 2017 municipal elections, led by political guru Jacob Ogles. Doors open at 7:45am with presentation at 8am. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.