Be wary of a legal voting tactic that will decide several seats on the Rome City Commission and Rome School Board when votes are counted the night of Nov. 7.
“Bullet voting” is openly being pushed at some meetings in a bid to get “our candidates” elected. The question is, how many “ours” are out there? (That is, voting factions).
Bullet voting is “another term for a multi-member plurality voting system. The term for when a voter votes for only one candidate, when they had the option of voting for more than one.”
With the contested races on the Rome ballot offering voters three commission seats and seven School Board seats, things might get interesting. It works like this:
A candidate or pack of candidates urge you to vote for them and them alone.
In the City Commission race, Rome voters can pick three of the six names on the ballot. But by using “bullet voting,” people can vote for one or two candidates. That way, the third vote is not going to another challenger. You’re basically limiting their total votes while attempting to ensure your candidates receive votes. (Please see the sample ballot above)
It gets crazier in the School Board race. Fifteen names are on the ballot, including five incumbents (two didn’t seek new terms) and 10 challengers. When it comes to election day, you could see a “pro incumbents” group vote for the five on the ballot, passing their chance to vote on two others. Or you might see some voters go all newcomers, perhaps picking the three or four they’re most familiar with and passing a chance to vote on the remain three to four hopefuls. (Please see the sample ballot above)
How will we know if it works? On election night, check the total number of votes each candidate gets. No matter what, there will be a disparity of votes among the top and bottom commission and school board candidates. That’s when you check the total number of ballots cast to get perhaps the clearest hint that “bullet voting” is in play.