Local election turnout is a disgrace

The Prescott municipal election show won’t be over until November.

No outright winners emerged from the Tuesday election.

Incumbent Mayor Rowle Simmons, who won 48.28 percent of the vote, will face second-highest vote-getter Lindsay Bell, who received 36.3 percent of the vote. To win outright, a candidate would have had to garner 50 percent of the votes cast, plus one.

In the City Council race the vote distribution was highly scattered. Incumbent Bob Bell was the top vote-getter with only 15.47 percent of the vote. He and fellow incumbents Bob Roecker (14.83 percent) and John Steward (13.48 percent) will go to a runoff in November with challengers Howard Mechanic (13.42 percent), Robert Luzius (15.45 percent) and Robert Behnke (10.52 percent).

With that many candidates in the races, the results are no great surprise. The disheartening aspect of the election is the 53.7 percent turnout. Only 12,185 of the 22,690 people eligible to vote sent back their mail-in ballots.

Considering the vital issues at stake in this election and the fact that it was mail-in election, the turnout is a disgrace.

No election in the city’s history will have a greater effect on its future social, economic and cultural well-being than this one.

Now, discounting the idea that every voter has an obligation to research and understand the candidates and issues on the ballot, the only way to make voting any easier than a mail-in election would be to have election officials personally call every voter or to perfect Internet voting.

Let’s hope Prescott voters fulfill their obligations better in the November election.