By Three Measures 2015 Municipal Election Already One For The Record Books
Polls open today for the 2015 municipal election primaries. Normally these are relatively low key affairs. But this year we’ve already seen three new records set.
Municipal primaries have notoriously low turnout – so the first number may not wow you; it’s 9,631, the number of early ballots cast. That is a record says Michael Dickerson, "With about a 45 to 50 percent increase over two years ago." Dickerson is the Director of the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections. And he attributes the rise to the popularity of early voting and the number of high profile races for city councils and mayors throughout the county, including Charlotte.
That leads us to record number two. There are six Democrats and two Republicans vying for their party’s nomination for Charlotte mayor. That alone isn’t a record but the amount of cash they’ve raised is. By September 1, "They had already raised over $1.2 million. So that is a large sum," says Dickerson. Indeed a record sum for a Charlotte’s primary for mayor. The four Democrats running in the mayoral primary in 2013 raised $255,000 combined. The two Republicans running today have together raised $370,000. And this year’s crop of four Democrats have raised a whopping $894,000.
And finally, if you have a mailbox, a television, a computer, a radio or a door which can be knocked on, you can guess the third record set this primary season – the amount of money spent by candidates to get you to the polls and vote for them. $964,000. Polls are open until 7:30pm tonight – then we’ll know who spent their money wisely.