The Norman Transcript

Government

April 6, 2013

Despite big campaign spending, city elections suffer low turnout

NORMAN — Despite the expenditure of well over $200,000 on city election campaigns, the voter turnout for the April 2 city vote was lower than candidates had hoped.

Less than 18 percent of eligible, registered voters cast ballots in the Norman mayor’s race this week, according to analysis by the Cleveland County Election Board. Numbers also indicate that the highest voter turnout and strongest support for mayoral challenger Tom Sherman came from Ward 3.

The Cleveland County Election Board certified the election at 5 p.m. Friday. A dozen additional provisional ballots were accepted but did not affect the outcome of any of the races, Cleveland County Election Board Secretary Jim Williams said. Those ballots are not included in the following analysis of the election.

Williams said there were 62,961 eligible voters in the Norman mayoral race. Of those, 10,908 — 17.33 percent — voted. Slightly fewer voters cast ballots in the hotel/motel tax proposition.

While the tax proposition carried with a high margin, winning with 8,397 “yes” votes to 2,462 against, the total 10,859 votes cast is even lower than the number who voted for mayor.

The three-way mayoral race was dominated by incumbent Cindy Rosenthal who garnered 5,898 votes with challengers Tom Sherman, 4,050 votes, and David Kempf 928 votes far enough behind to avoid a runoff.

Avoiding that runoff saved the city a nice chunk of change.

“Each citywide election costs us between $26,000 and $30,000,” said Norman City Clerk Brenda Hall. “The only variable is the ballot printing cost.”

In addition to ballots there are fees involved with each election. Combining city elections with county, state, federal and other elections does help curb the amount each entity must pay.

In Ward 3, ineligible candidate Benjamin Carter garnered 335 votes. Incumbent Robert Castleberry won that race with 1,528 votes for a total of 1,863 votes cast.

The worst turnout was in precinct 13 with 38 out of 2,010 voters casting ballots in the mayoral race. That precinct may have a high percentage of student voters. The precinct supports Ward 7 and votes at the Cross Center’s main building on the OU campus at 1600 Jenkins Ave. In the Ward 7 city council race, only 35 votes were cast at precinct 13.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Government
  • Breast Care Center will relocate to HealthPlex

    The Norman Regional Health System will move its Breast Care Center to the HealthPlex campus, making it more accessible for patients, hospital officials said Monday. At its monthly board meeting, the Norman Regional Hospital Authority ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • City manager calls Moore strong while addressing Chamber

    MOORE — Moore’s City Manager Steve Eddy could have quoted Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Eddy, with help from Mayor Glenn Lewis, reported on Tuesday on the State of the City to the Moore Chamber of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • walmart City leaders say ‘yes’ to Wal-Mart supercenter postponement

    Despite complaints that a postponement request was in the eleventh hour, a zoning change in east Norman was put on hold Tuesday night. The proposal to rezone property at Cedar Lane Road between 24th Avenue Southeast and Highway 77 ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Another brick in the Wal-Mart

    Norman could soon have five Wal-Mart stores, including three supercenters and two neighborhood markets. A proposal for the newest supercenter will come before the Norman City Council at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday via a request for a zoning change on ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Local group celebrates ruling

    A local group, Mothers of Many, expressed its elation with Friday’s 10th Circuit Court ruling striking down Oklahoma’s state ban on same-sex marriage....

    July 20, 2014

  • Leftover loss still hurting

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Cities, counties and school districts remain frozen out of a federal program that has sent millions of dollars worth of trenchers, trailers, semis, bulldozers, boats and forklifts and other equipment over the years....

    July 19, 2014

  • City and state briefs

    Transportation needs listed The White House released a new report this week from the Council of Economic Advisers and National Economic Council on the long-term economic benefits of transportation investment and why conditions in the ...

    July 17, 2014