Mayor's Statement on Process Settling Tied City Elections

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Mayor's Statement on Process Settling Tied City Elections

Posted: 09/05/2017
See below a statement from Mayor Madeline Rogero about the process for settling tied City of Knoxville elections:
 
“Under state law, in the case of a tied City election, City Council is responsible for either casting the deciding vote or calling for a run-off election. Unfortunately, because of the timing of the primary and general elections, it is not possible to schedule a run-off election to resolve the tie for second place in the 4th District Council primary. So Council will decide a process and designate a second-place finisher in that race at its meeting on Wednesday.
 
However, for future elections, I believe the laws should be changed so that voters have the final say. I have spoken with Vice Mayor Duane Grieve, and he agrees.  My staff and I are exploring options that could require changes to both state law and the City Charter. Although tie votes are extremely rare, the current circumstances have highlighted the inadequacy of existing law.
 
The City Charter dictates the format and schedule for our City elections, and any Charter amendments have to be put on a general election ballot for voter approval. The next opportunity for such a referendum is in 2018. State law sets requirements for early voting, notification of an election, and the resolution of tie votes. The state Legislature would have to approve any changes to state law. Their next legislative session begins in January 2018.
 
We are seeking public input, and I will present recommendations to City Council in the near future. Comments and suggestions should be sent to communications@knoxvilletn.gov.”