A referendum on the March 14 ballot aims to change Lantana’s charter to put an end to runoff elections.
Currently, a Town Council candidate must receive at least one more than 50% of the votes in a race to be elected. If no candidate gets a majority, a runoff election is held between the two candidates receiving the most votes in the race.
A forced runoff in two council races last year made some elected officials consider a change to a plurality system, where the candidate receiving the highest number of votes in a race — whether or not it is a majority — is the victor. 
The majority vote stipulation has been the rule in Lantana for decades.
Changing the election system requires a change in the town’s charter, something voters need to decide. The council cannot accomplish the change on its own.
Although runoff elections have been required only a few times in Lantana’s history, they cost extra money. Last year’s two runoffs cost about $21,700.
One council member questions the fairness of plurality, since more people could end up voting for other candidates than for the winner.

— Mary Thurwachter

 

 

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