The Virginian-Pilot recently printed a letter-to-the-editor written by Brian Kirwin, advocating for elections in a time where there would be a higher rate of particpation by the voters.
RE ‘CHESAPEAKE should move elections’ (letter, May 14): I concur with the letter-writer in her call to move city elections from May to November. Only two cities in South Hampton Roads, Norfolk and Chesapeake, hang onto dreary, low-turnout, May elections.
While other cities enjoy robust elections with winners elected with true mandates, cities with May elections engage almost no one.
When 90 percent of Chesapeake voters voted not to vote in May by staying home, that was a powerful referendum. As a result, 230,000 Chesapeake residents will be represented by City Council members who received as few as 8,000 votes, a number inflated by the fact that each voter could vote for three people.
The issues of a crowded ballot, incumbent protection and political partisanship are false. Adding an election or two to the November ballot hasn’t confused anyone yet. Incumbents have won and lost in May and November. And city elections can’t get more partisan than they already are in Chesapeake and Norfolk.
In the spirit of regionalism, I join the letter-writer and urge Chesapeake to broaden its electoral tent and hold elections when Chesapeake citizens want to vote in November.