By Josh Resnek
The city’s Election Commission is apparently discussing options about whether or not to pursue a policy doing away with primaries mainly because they cost too much and deliver too little.
While it is up to the Election Commission to discuss such matters, it is not unilaterally up to the commission to act.
The Election Commission can make recommendations to the city council and then the city council would have to issue a request to the state legislature for a home rule petition to make such a thing happen if it so deemed fit.
The present primary for the at-large race, which has been set off by 11 candidates being certified, is an example of what other communities have chosen to do away with because of the cost.
Ten candidates or less and there is no primary.
The value of the 11th certified candidate is what is being called into question.
Eleven candidates or more, and a primary is automatically set off.
A primary here with 11 candidates would cost $55,000 or more, according to election officials.
A citywide primary requires lots of manpower and special police details, planning and preparation. Purists believe a primary is absolutely necessary to establish a level playing field for those seeking election to public office.
Others claim the cost is more important than the right to place one’s name on the ballot.