Tallahassee Voters Decide to Move City Elections to Fall

Most residents WCTV spoke with say Tallahassee voters made a good decision by moving city elections to the fall, but there is one city commissioner who wishes the vote had gone the other way.

Tuesday, Tallahassee residents voted by an impressive margin to move city elections to the fall, rather than keeping them in the winter.

Leon County Supervisor of Elections, Ion Sancho, says Tuesday’s vote was historic for a referendum item.

"Generally in political circles, if you get 65 percent of the vote, a 65 or 35 percent win is considered a landslide, so for the margin to reach what it did is almost unheard of," says Sancho.

More than 16,000 Tallahassee residents voted on the referendum. More than 10 percent wanted city elections kept in the winter, while close to 90 percent felt the move to fall was a better choice.

"It just makes everything more convenient. Fall is kind of the time everyone is thinking of elections. It just makes it a lot easier for people to vote on the issues," Dan Peters says.

"I voted for fall, and the reason was, it's a time saver. Again you have to drive and vote, and it's done at one time. You can make your decisions on a local and national level at one time, it's a time saver," says Zan Bielec.

Tallahassee City Commissioner Andrew Gillum voted for city elections to stay in the winter. He feels an election separate from state, county and federal issues better benefits the city.

"The citizens decided that a fall election is most preferred. I'm ready, for our upcoming campaign, and a matter of fact, this is what the democratic process is all about," says Gillum.

With city elections moved to the fall, city commission seats one and two are now up for grabs, and that includes Commissioner Gillum's seat and Commissioner Mark Mustian's seat.

Sancho says a separate city election in the winter costs city taxpayers close to $300,000.