During the City Council Meeting held on Nov. 14, 2016, Councilman Ruben Falcon proposed a change in the city’s 2017 elections. His proposed change would push the elections from May to November.
Documentation provided by the Council cited that Senate Bill 733 gives them the right to do this; however, it does not mandate or require this change in dates.
Councilman Falcon reasoned that holding the elections later in the year may help eradicate voter fatigue and increase voter turnout, stating he doesn’t believe anyone is ready for another election.
Falcon also mentioned that the percentage of citizens voting in the May elections has been steadily decreasing, and moving them to November may boost those statistics. He also noted there would be no cost to change the date of this election.
Falcon believed, in addition to the aforementioned benefits, budget awareness would be increased as a result of the election being closer to budget deadlines. He stated that budgeting should be finished by the beginning of October, and an upcoming election could potentially deter raises in rates.
A few members of the Council expressed that the community would be concerned about some aspects of the change, including the term extension of approximately 6 months. In response to this, Councilman Falcon stated that if this change increases voter turnout, the lengthened terms would be worth it. After much discussion, this item was unanimously tabled.